Court quashes Kenya ban on broadcasters


Political tensions continue to rise in Kenya as the government defied a court order to lift a ban on three independent media organizations.

The media crackdown, criticised by the United Nations, the United States and former colonial power Britain, could set up a showdown between the judiciary and the executive next week.

We are concerned that three TV stations remain suspended for the third day today in Kenya after the Government accused them of "complicity" for airing footage of opposition leader Raila Odinga's "inauguration ceremony".

President Kenyatta gave a televised speech at the Kenya School of Government Friday.

The activist was to physically serve all respondents with the orders.

Mr Odinga lost last year's election and his swearing-in was widely seen as a publicity stunt, but the authorities said it was an act of treason.

The U.S. urged the Government and all Kenyans to respect freedom of expression and implement court orders calling for the restoration of television broadcasts.

The first election, held in September 2017, was annulled by the court following alleged irregularities.

The court ordered a re-run.

Kenyatta won a second presidential term with 98 per cent of the vote following a controversial election rerun in November.

"Next week will be a litmus test for the constitution", said Mutiga. I can't speak on the phone right now.

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He pasted the order on the gate of the authority, but the men tore it down, he said.

The Kenya Union of journalists is expected to file court petitions. Omtatah said he had also delivered it to the internal security minister, attorney general and information minister.

"Some are still hiding in the compound and my house hoping that I make a move so that they can shoot me and claim that there was a 'shootout!' I'm staying put!"

Omtata said he has no choice but to bring the matter back to the court Monday. Government officials refused to comment on whether they would appeal.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert also criticised Odinga's actions, saying the US was "gravely concerned by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga's self-'inauguration'".

Also on Friday, firebrand opposition politician Miguna Miguna was detained in a dawn raid on his Nairobi home and later released on bail of 50,000 Kenyan shillings ($500), his lawyer Nelson Havi told Reuters.

The Kenyan government had wanted the stations to remain shut indefinitely as police investigated Tuesday's ceremony.

On Thursday another opposition leader who attended Tuesday's rally was arrested.

The "swearing-in" by Odinga has alienated him from the global community, with Western diplomats saying they were not in contact with him.

"So you inaugurate yourself - then what?" asked one.