Kenya Shuts Down TV Channels to Prevent Covering Ceremony

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Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga held a mock inauguration Tuesday in front of thousands of supporters, as the government sparked outrage by shutting down key media broadcasters covering the event.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga was set to be "sworn in" as president on Tuesday, despite warnings that the staged ceremony could amount to treason.

Odinga challenged the result of the original August vote winning an unprecedented annulment, but then boycotted the court-ordered re-run in October handing victory to Kenyatta who won 98% of the vote but with a turnout of just 39%.

President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second and final five-year term in office and was sworn in as president in November.

Police at first had vowed to block opposition supporters from attending Tuesday's ceremony, leading to fears of violence.

Norman Magaya, the CEO of the opposition National Super Alliance, said Monday the heavy deployment of the police to Uhuru Park in Nairobi will not stop the ceremony.

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The Standard has learned that the private meeting that began at 11am was supposed to be the final congregation before all the leaders left together for the event in Uhuru Park, but it turned out there were disagreements.

The United Nations was watching developments in Kenya closely and it was "critical for the media to be able to operate freely and to report freely", U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in NY.

In the statement, Mudavadi, Kalonzo and Wetang'ula said they would "rededicate themselves" to the continued pursuit of the reform agenda for the country.

A symbolic swearing by Odinga could be a way of persuading President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to the negotiation table.

Linus Kaikai, chairman of Kenya's editors guild, accused Kenyatta of undermining the independence of news media during a meeting at the State House in Nairobi last week. He joined Raila to form the Cord coalition at the last minute after he was reportedly offered a raw deal by President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. "Today is a historic day in the history of Kenya", he said. The commission said the information was fake, and said the opposition was misleading the public "on the results pathway, the servers, information on the public portal and the forms used to declare results". "This oath signifies our resolve to achieve electoral justice in the country", Odinga remarked while holding a green Bible to his right arm and sandwiched by opposition lawmakers as excited supporters waved the national flag.

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