Kenyan media shut down hours ahead of planned swearing-in of opposition leader

January 30, 2018 at 04:11 am | News

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

January 30, 2018 at 04:11 am | News

Kenyan private television station Citizen TV, its radio stations, Inooro TV and others have been shut down by the government ahead of the planned swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as president.

The independently-owned media planned to cover the event which has been described as treasonous by the government as it violates the constitution.

Most parts of the country do not have access to the television and radio channels due to its planned coverage of the National Super Alliance (NASA) party swearing-in, reports the Citizen.

Hundreds of NASA supporters are gathered at the Uhuru Park in Nairobi to participate in the repeat swearing-in which failed to come on in December last year.

The party said it will swear in Raila Odinga based on the annulled results of the August 8 presidential election which they claim was rigged to favour President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The government and international bodies had warned NASA against the planned inauguration since last year and the organisation of a “People’s Assembly” backed by 12 Kenyan counties.

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

United States officials also held a meeting with Odinga and other opposition figures to advise them against the planned inauguration. Led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto, the opposition party was warned that the move will further deepen the crisis in the country.

As at 1100 GMT, NASA MPs including Lilian Gogo, Moses Kajwang, Elisha Odhiambo and National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi were present at the Uhuru Park awaiting the arrival of Raila Odinga for the event.

There are reports of the police stopping buses ferrying people to the grounds. Meanwhile, police presence was not felt around the area where the planned inauguration is expected to take place.

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