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

Kenyan government outlaws opposition's resistance movement after Odinga's

In a ceremony that Kenya's government warned would be treason, opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday was sworn in as "the people's president" during a mock inauguration protesting President Uhuru Kenyatta's new term after months of deadly election turmoil.

Fred Matiang'i, who is also the minister in charge of security, accused some elements in the media of facilitating the "illegal act", putting lives of thousands of Kenyans at risk.

He noted that the government has commenced investigations targeting certain individuals and Organizations who include but not limited to certain media houses.

The "Swearing-in Challenge" first went viral in November a year ago after the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta which is being disputed by the opposition.

"He has been arrested and taken to Nairobi area police headquarters", James Orengo told Reuters. Peter Kaluma said opposition legislator and lawyer T.J. Kajwang was taken to the Nairobi's criminal investigations department for questioning.

Commenting on the development, Mr Irbard in a statement on Tuesday, January 30 said: "I find it quite troubling that the flag-bearer of the opposition NASA party Mr Raila Odinga would have himself sworn in as President even though he withdrew from the election that saw his main contender President Uhuru Kenyatta emerge winner".

It is not known how long Kenyatta's government will maintain the shutdown of the three popular broadcast stations.

This comes after the Communications Authority of Kenya switched off the signals of three television stations and various radio stations under the Royal Media Services at exactly ten minutes after nine on Tuesday morning.

Raila Odinga referred to the previous elections as "fake" and he announced that he would swear in front of a National Assembly in December. "Our business is advertising-based so we are making huge losses", he said, declining to give a figure. Meanwhile, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists called on Kenyan authorities to allow the TV stations to immediately resume broadcasting. "We are trying to resolve through dialogue, but if it doesn't work we will go to the courts", he said.

"This sets a very worrying tone for the country and really reveals to us that the state's supposed commitment to constitutional order is very brittle if there at all".

By 7.20am, a number of media outlets, including the independently-owned Citizen radio and television, NTV and KTN said authorities had forced them off air.

The Kenyan government has declared the opposition coalition's National Super Alliance (NASA)'s wing, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), as an organised criminal group.

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