Kenya Shuts Down TV Channels to Prevent Covering Ceremony

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Kenyans take opposition leader's 'mock' inauguration literally with the “Swearing-in Challenge” [Photos]

"Today is a one stop towards doing away with electoral autocracy and to establishing proper democracy in the country", said Odinga.

A man wears a mask among fellow supporters as Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga (not pictured) takes a symbolic presidential oath of office in Nairobi, Kenya January 30, 2018. It carried no legal weight but was part of his effort to reject the presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta and set up a parallel government called the "People's Assembly".

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

The administration of the actual president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, was not amused. A heavy police presence remains in city slums, which are opposition strongholds. But a government threat to block access to the ceremony did not materialize.

However, Kenya's editor's guild said in a statement on Monday that Kenyatta, in a private meeting with journalists and editors warned last Friday that he would shut down and revoke the licenses of any media house that broadcast Odinga's protest event.

As people assembled, authorities forced independent television and radio stations reporting on the gathering off air, several outlets said - the most widespread censorship for a decade.

"As an external observer and also a player in the political and security space of East Africa, especially Kenya, 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 victor".

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The lawyer and MP who swore Odinga in - TJ Kajwang - was arrested yesterday afternoon and was being investigated for his role in the ceremony, according to a senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity. The ceremony is expected to end by 2pm according to the programme of the much anticipated oath taking event.

It is not only the Catholic Church calling for dialogue; Anglican Bishop George Wechumo has called on Kenyatta to hold a dialogue with Odinga "so as to end the political stalemate emanating from last year's August and October election".

The election had been controversial from the outset.

Despite originally welcoming the court's decision, Odinga refused to participate in the second election, maintaining he won the original poll. But NASA withdrew from a scheduled rerun in October. She warned that electoral commissioners and staff faced political intimidation and lived in fear they would be killed. We should not forget that the worldwide community observed the Kenya election and it was adjudged free and fair.

The Supreme Court in a landmark ruling annulled the elections after NASA proved that the process was not clean.

"As religious leaders, we are foreseeing the swearing-in of Raila bringing chaos which is likely to cause the deaths of many if something is not done urgently", Mechumo said. They faced a long wait.

"This is a handsome day". Even though the county government had initially declared the park a no-go zone, police were withdrawn hours before the oath. Odinga told his supporters that he would be sworn in later, for reasons that would be explained on a later date. "We are suffering as Kenyans". "Swearing themselves in is just drama since we already have a legitimate government in place".

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