KENYA; 3rd opposition member who attended Odinga's mock inauguration arrested

07 February, 2018, 04:53 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Kenyan activist Okiya Omtatah files a lawsuit seeking the arrest of two Kenyan ministers and a senior official for contempt of court at the Milimani Court in Nairobi

"This shutdown erodes the gains so far made in developing a free and responsible media industry and should never happen in a robust democracy that Kenya boasts of", said the Media Council of Kenya in a tweet.

Global media stations from around the globe have highlighted the government's defiance to keep the stations off-air, despite a court order to restore broadcast.

His victory is not recognised by Mr Odinga, who argues he was elected by a small section of the country.

The unprecedented shutdown started on January 30 when Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta ordered three extremely popular TV stations (Citizen TV, KTN and NTV) to be closed due to their alleged attempts to broadcast a rival "inauguration" of the president's rival, Raila Odinga on January 30. The United States, the United Nations and former colonial ruler Britain strongly criticised the government's censorship.

The Supreme Court infuriated Kenyatta a year ago when it found irregularities in the August presidential election and annulled his victory.

Most of their statements have focussed on the brief detention of three opposition politicians who took part in Odinga's ceremony, which occurred peacefully after the government withdrew police from the site.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli said Jubilee had embraced dictatorship and questioned why the government had defied a court order suspending the Communication Authority (CA) of Kenya decision to get the three channels off air.

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Odinga has refused to accept the results of an October presidential run-off, which he boycotted.

"They released him at 10 with a stern warning not to come back", he told Reuters by phone "I have come here myself, but I am being been denied access". Authorities also arrested a key opposition ally in the wake of Raila Odinga's self-inauguration Tuesday as the so-called "people's president".

The court order was also published in Friday's edition of the Standard newspaper, one of Kenya's largest dailies.

"I am insisting on delivering this order", Omtatah said.

The US department of state, in a statement by Heather Nauert, its spokesperson, said it was gravely concerned by Odinga's self-inauguration as Kenya's "People's President". He stated that recent arrests of Opposition allied leaders showed was a government show off- just to be seen that it was doing something.

The "swearing-in" by Odinga has alienated him from the global community, with Western diplomats saying they were not in contact with him. At the end, he gestured to the journalists, saying in Swahili, "Now why don't you switch off your things, pack and go?"

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