Kenya govt declares Odinga's resistance movement a criminal group

Nairobi on Tuesday labeled Kenya's opposition National Resistance Movement (NRM) an organized criminal group, hours after its leader Raila Odinga symbolically "swore himself in" as president in a mock inauguration.

Meanwhile, the hostility by President Uhuru Kenyatta's government towards the free media continued later on Tuesday when NMG journalists were turned away from covering him at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on his arrival from a foreign trip.

Claiming the poll would not be fair, Odinga boycotted the second vote and Kenyatta won with 98 percent.

Kenya's Supreme Court declared Kenyatta victor of the official October 25 election, which came weeks after the original August 8 vote that was annulled by Kenya's high court.

On Monday, Linus Kaikai, chairman of the Kenya Editors' Guild, said editors had been summoned by the authorities and warned that they could be shut down if they covered the event.

Odinga refused to be drawn on his plans for after his symbolic inauguration, repeatedly telling the interviewer, "Hold your horses" and "We'll see".

Earlier this month, Kenya's embattled President Uhuru Kenyata issued a stern warning to opposition politicians threatening the country's peace, stability and sovereignty.

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The Anglican Church leader is quoted by Citizen TV to have urged that the "swearing in" may not automatically give NASA an opportunity to forcefully take over government, hence, "there should be no need for panic". Odinga told his supporters that he would be sworn in later, for reasons that would be explained on a later date.

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

While threats have been made in the past, the government switching off media broadcasting signals is unusual, the BBC reported.

Odinga's supporters crowded the streets, effectively shutting down traffic in the center of one of Africa's largest cities.

Three of Kenya's biggest television stations will remain off-air until further notice because they had planned to broadcast the opposition leader's unofficial "inauguration" in Nairobi.

"Let them have the park and carry on with their political activities as long as it is within the law", a senior officer said.

Almost 100 people were killed over the prolonged election period, mostly in clashes between Odinga supporters and police.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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