Raila ‘swearing in’: Citizen TV, NTV Kenya shut; as hundreds of opposition supporters gather

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The Communications Authority of Kenya has switched off Citizen Television, KTN Television and NTV Kenya over the coverage of opposition leader Raila Amolo Odinga and his ‘vice president’ Kalonzo Mushyoka.

Kenya government had earlier threatened any media house that covers the swearing-in event risks having its licence revoked. Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is planning to have himself sworn in as an alternative president on Tuesday at Uhuru Park.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in November after winning the repeat presidential election in October that Odinga boycotted due to doubts it would be free and fair.

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Kenyatta had also been declared winner of the August election, but the Supreme Court later nullified that result, over irregularities.
Odinga said the October election was “fake” and earlier said a “people’s assembly” would swear him in on December 12. That did not happen, and a new event was planned for Tuesday.
By 0600 GMT, about 400 people were gathered in Uhuru Park, near Nairobi’s main business district. Though the police had said they would prohibit any illegal assemblies on Tuesday, there were no uniformed police in the park and no anti-riot officers or vehicles.

Local radio station Capital FM reported that supporters had been granted permission by Kenyan authorities to use the park. Opposition supporters claim Odinga won the August vote.
”The swearing in that will happen today is legitimate based on the August 8 election. Odinga is the one we recognise as the president and that is why we are swearing him in,” said hairdresser Benta Akinyi, 32, standing near other opposition supporters blowing horns and whistles.

Odinga challenged the result of the original August vote winning an unprecedented annulment, but then boycotted the court-ordered re-run in October handing victory to Kenyatta who won 98 percent of the vote but with a turnout of just 39 percent.

The ceremony — if it goes ahead — will put the opposition on a collision course with police and the government, with attorney general Githu Muigai warning in December that any “swearing-in” would be treasonous raising the possibility of Odinga’s arrest, a move that would heighten tensions.

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