m3n4.net
m3n4.net October 18, 2018


Kenyan government outlaws opposition's resistance movement after Odinga's "swearing-in"

01 February 2018, 12:41 | Tara Lloyd

Many thousands of supporters thronged Uhuru Park in the centre of the city to hear Odinga, who heads the National Super Alliance (Nasa), take an oath of allegiance on the Bible on Tuesday.

Interior Minister Fred Matiang'i told reporters they would stay closed until investigations were complete.

Speaking during a press briefing on the state of security in the country in Nairobi on Wednesday, the CS said that the decision to withdraw security officers from Uhuru Park grounds on Tuesday morning prevented the opposition from executing the plan.

The government has outlawed the opposition's National Resistance Movement, with Matiangi declaring it an organized criminal group.

Kenyatta was inaugurated in November, and Kenya Attorney-General Githu Muigai warned that an opposition group swearing in a president who's not officially been declared the victor is high treason - an offense that can result in death.

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Police later arrested Tom Kajwang, an opposition lawmaker who administered Odinga's "oath of office", James Orengo, an opposition senator, told Reuters.

However, Kenya's editor's guild said in a statement on Monday that Kenyatta, in a private meeting with journalists and editors warned last Friday that he would shut down and revoke the licenses of any media house that broadcast Odinga's protest event.

Kajwang, who represents a constituency in Nairobi and is a lawyer by profession, turned up at the opposition gathering in a white wig and a black robe, mimicking the official robes the chief justice wears when inaugurating a president.

"Their complicity would have led to thousands of deaths of innocent Kenyans due to the buildup of the incitement that was witnessed in early hours".

Kenya's government had warned that Tuesday's mock inauguration of Odinga as "the people's president" after months of election turmoil would be considered treason.

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Kenyatta's victory in August was annulled by the Supreme Court over irregularities but he won a re-run, which Odinga boycotted because some electoral commission reforms he demanded did not take place.

Uhuru Kenyatta won a repeat election in October, boycotted by Mr Odinga.

Henry Maina, regional director of media rights group Article 19, called the shutdown of the TV stations a violation of constitutionally guaranteed media freedoms and the "lowest moment for media freedom in a decade".

The three broadcasters however turned to the worldwide web and streamed live broadcasts of the "swearing -in" as it unfolded.

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