Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Latest news
Main » US, African Union Condemn Raila Odinga's 'swearing-in' as Kenya's People's President

US, African Union Condemn Raila Odinga's 'swearing-in' as Kenya's People's President

05 February 2018

A standoff between Kenya's government and the opposition has escalated, as a crackdown on the media deepens and police arrest several top opposition figures.

Three of the country's main private television channels had their live feeds of the event cut or blocked, but the country's High Court allowed them to temporarily resume service on Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, police arrested opposition lawmaker Tom Kajwang for illegally administering Odinga's "oath".

President Uhuru Kenyatta's number two said the Jubilee Party will instead focus on delivering what they promised in their manifesto.

The opposition leader went ahead Tuesday with a symbolic "swearing in" ceremony at Nairobi's central Uhuru Park despite government warnings that the move would be treason.

The United States and the African Union (AU) have criticised Opposition leader Raila Odinga's "swearing-in" as people's president on January 30.

The government designated Mr. Odinga's political movement a "criminal organization", though it said the political parties in the opposition coalition are not affected.

Shortly afterward, the lawyer for the man in judicial dress who stood by Odinga during the ceremony said he had been arrested.

The government shut down the East African nation's three leading TV stations when they tried to broadcast Tuesday's "swearing-in" of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who declared himself "the people's president" in protest of President Uhuru Kenyatta's election win a year ago.

Clashes between Odinga supporters and security forces claimed around 100 lives during the election season. The ruling was delayed by procedural obstacles but eventually served Friday, though the networks remained off air.

The U.S. urged the Government and all Kenyans to respect freedom of expression and implement court orders calling for the restoration of television broadcasts. "Freedom of expression, including for members of the media, is essential to democracy and is enshrined in Kenya's Constitution", said Heather.

Joe Odindo, the editorial director of the Standard Group, a media company that includes KTN, questioned whether the government had effectively abandoned the rule of law. The country's Supreme Court nullified the previous ballot, also won by Kenyatta, due to "illegalities and irregularities".

The Chairperson of the Commission recalls that an African Union Election Observer Mission led by former President Thabo Mbeki observed the elections whose results were validated by the Kenyan Constitutional Court.

US, African Union Condemn Raila Odinga's 'swearing-in' as Kenya's People's President