Kenyan opposition figure charged with treason over Odinga's 'swearing in'

Kenyan opposition figure charged with treason over Odinga's 'swearing in'

Kenyan police fired teargas on Monday to disperse 100 demonstrators demanding that the government reopen three private television channels it shut down on over their coverage of the opposition.

Kenyan police on Saturday briefly detained a third opposition legislator who attended a symbolic "swearing-in" of opposition leader Raila Odinga that was a direct challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won re-election in October 2017.

The NTV, KTN News and Citizen TV channels were taken off the air on Tuesday, hours before they were due to broadcast Odinga's event.

Odinga charges that President Uhuru Kenyatta's won election previous year through fraud.

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Following Mr Miguna's arrest and failure to charge him in court, the Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti had been ordered to appear in court to explain circumstances surrounding their failure to release the Nasa activist.

"There is no way they can arrest our general and jail him for one week before presenting him to court", protester Denis Ouma said.

It was unclear why the government switched back on the transmitters.

"The powers to arrest given to police are being abused and misused to harass, intimidate, and oppress the applicants and to achieve ulterior motives".

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Closing the stations has also sparked a flurry of court cases against the government, moving Kenya, East Africa's wealthiest economy and regional powerhouse, one step closer to a possible showdown between the government and judiciary. Odinga insists he, not Kenyatta, was the true victor of a disputed presidential election last August.

The Supreme Court later nullified the election on procedural grounds and Kenyatta won a repeat poll after Odinga boycotted it, claiming it would not be fair.

Since the symbolic inauguration, Odinga and his supporters have repeatedly promised to outline their next step, only to postpone the unveiling of their plan.

Separately, a court ordered police to halt attempts to arrest at least three Nation Media Group journalists. "The government was and is aware of the role of some elements in the media fraternity who participated in furtherance of this illegal act", Interior Minister Fred Matiang'i said at the time.

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