Kenyan government accused of media crackdown in wake of opposition mock inauguration


Police officers who had earlier kept watch and declared Uhuru Park Grounds out of bound have left the place allowing the National Supper Alliance (NASA) supporters to settle as they wait for Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to arrive and take oath of office as president and deputy president respectively.

Matiangi said Odinga's swearing-in itself was also under investigation and that 'appropriate legal action would be taken.

Kenya's Attorney General Githu Muigai cautioned Odinga that he will be charged with treason if he's sworn in.

"IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 22 of the organized Crimes Act of 2010, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and National Government declares National Resistance movement (NRM) to be organized criminal group for the purposes of the Act".

"President (Uhuru) Kenyatta expressly threatened to shut down and revoke the licences of any media house that would broadcast live", the Editors' Guild said in a statement, referring to a meeting that media bosses were summoned to last week.

Matiang'i said the opposition event was an attempt to subvert and overthrow the legally constituted government, adding they were also investigating the "swearing in".

As people assembled at Uhuru Park for the attempted inauguration, state officials forced independent TV and radio stations off the air.

The Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) only let in the State-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and K24, which is associated with the Kenyatta family. The Kenyan Supreme Court nullified the August election due to irregularities but refused two petitions to nullify the October vote despite a number of eyebrow-raising incidents, such as one of the election commissioners announcing her life was in danger and fleeing the country.

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Though Kenya's last election in 2013 was mainly peaceful, the country plunged into widespread violence in the aftermath of the 2007 vote.

'This is the official account of His Excellency Raila Amolo Odinga, ' the bio now reads amid claims that he had been warned by the social media platform for impersonating.

The court ordered a fresh election in October that Kenyatta won and Odinga boycotted, claiming a lack of electoral reforms. Even though the county government had initially declared the park a no-go zone, police were withdrawn hours before the oath.

"As religious leaders, we are foreseeing the swearing-in of Raila bringing chaos which is likely to cause the deaths of many if something is not done urgently", Mechumo said. "We are suffering as Kenyans".

Waruru said they did not see this coming.

"It's an illegal exercise that will not change anything, except to polarize the country further".

Since independence in 1963, Kenya has been ruled only by leaders from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin groups.