Kenya: U.S and African Union Condemn `Raila`s Swearing in` and Criticize Media Shut Down

United States and African Union (AU) have criticized opposition leader Raila Odinga`s swearing in a peoples president on January 30th.

In a statement, the US termed the ‘self-inauguration’ of Raila as unconstitutional.

“We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s Constitution and the rule of law” said State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert.

The US threw it support behind Jubilee’s administration stating that President Uhuru Kenyatta was validly re-elected in the October 26 repeat presidential poll adding that “grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms”.

The US commended security forces for the restraint shown during Nasa’s Uhuru Park event and urged Kenyans to reject violence and hatred.

“ We urge all Kenyans to reject violence and hatred. Protesters have a right to assemble peacefully, to express their views freely, and to hold opinions without interference”, Nauert said.

The US Department of State has also expressed concern over the shutdown of three television stations.

“Freedom of expression, including for members of the media, is essential to democracy and is enshrined in Kenya’s Constitution” it said.

It called on the government to build cohesion and address longstanding issues.

           [box] African Heads of states and Representatives in the African Union[/box]

The African Union (AU) also raised concerns over the swearing in of the National Super Alliance Raila.

According to the chairperson of the commission, An African Union Elections observer mission led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki asked all stake holders to act in strict compliance with the constitution of Kenya and other relevant texts.

The High Court Thursday ordered the government to switch on three TV stations whose transmission was switched off pending the hearing of case challenging the switch off.

Justice Chacha Mwita directed the Communications Authority of Kenya to restore all television stations that had been shut down and refrain from interfering with their transmission until the 14th of February when the case will be heard.

In his ruling Justice Chacha Mwita, further barred the government from interfering with all television transmission before the hearing of the case.

The orders come after activist Okiya Omtatah filed a case at the high court challenging the decision by the government to switch off three television stations.

In the petition, Omtahtah wants the court to declare the move by the government illegal and against the constitution. At the same time Omtatah is seeking to have the government compelled to compensate the TV stations for the loss incurred in advertising revenue during the switch off period.

He argues that the state switched off free to air transmission on the three channels without warning and without giving any reasons.

The court has certified the matter as urgent and set an inter party hearing on 14th Feb 2018. NTV, KTN and CITIZEN were switched off on 30th January

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