African Editors Forum condemns shut down of TV, radio stations in Kenya

05 February, 2018, 05:31 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Miguna Miguna during the swearing in of NASA leader Raila Odinga

Miguna was arrested at his Runda home, with the police saying he faces charges of administering an illegal oath and for being a member of the proscribed National resistance movement.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said President Uhuru Kenyatta was validly re-elected in the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential poll that was upheld by the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the high court ordered the restoration of TV transmissions that were shut down following a government directive.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva said it was concerned at the government's "attempts to interfere with the rights to freedom of expression".

A senior state officials said that among those whose passports could be suspended include, Siaya Senator James Orengo, former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant Miguna Miguna - who is still in police custody and controversial billionaire businessman Jimi Wanjigi.

While Miguna lost in his bid to become governor of Nairobi a year ago and holds no official position within NASA, he is the self-styled "general" of the party's "National Resistance Movement" wing which is tasked with implementing a threatened programme of civil disobedience and boycotts. "It's an abuse of power", Omtatah said, of the government's shutdown of the channels. The laws are clear.

Activist Okiya Omtata says police are preventing him from serving the order to Kenya's communications authority.

"TAEF calls on the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to apologise to the nation for the criminal and unconstitutional act".

They had defied orders by President Uhuru Kenyatta himself, who summoned media bosses last Friday and "expressly threatened to shut down" any station broadcasting the event, the Kenya Editors' Guild said in a statement. The arrests and broadcast bans have shocked Kenyans used to the freewheeling media and irreverent political culture that have taken root since the end of decades of autocratic rule in 2002. "That's why the court ruled as they did".

Elisha Otieno, a 50-year-old businessman in downtown Nairobi, said the stations should be allowed to reopen: "The government is not upholding its own laws".

The four media houses were still off-air on Friday.

Speaking on Saturday, Oluoch a practicing lawyer representing George Aladwa, who had been arrested for his role in Odinga's swearing in, claimed his client was arrested so as to "test the waters".


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