TVs remain shut, MP arrested for swearing in Raila

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Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang (second left) and other Nasa leaders during Raila Odinga's swearing in at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

Ruaraka Member of Parliament TJ Kajwang has been arrested outside Milimani Laws Court by plain clothes officers.

The MP administered the ‘oath of office’ to Nasa leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday at the Uhuru Park grounds.

He was taken to Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road.

He is representing MPs in the case in which legislators are challenging reduction of their salaries as well as allowances by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Mr Kajwang had just appeared before High Court judge George Odunga for a ruling.

Mr Kajwang’ and another lawyer, Miguna Miguna, were at the centre of events at Uhuru Park that culminated in the “swearing-in” of Mr Odinga as the ‘people’s president’.

During the ceremony, Mr Kajwang’ donned a lawyers’ robe and wig and received a thunderous welcome by Nasa supporters.

As Mr Odinga took the “oath”, Mr Kajwang’ stood right behind him, although his role remained unclear.

TVs to remain closed

The Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National government, Dr Fred Matiang’i, has said that three local TV stations shut down Tuesday by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) will remain closed until investigations over their supposed links with the Nasa wing of the National Resistance Movement, which he outlawed on Tuesday, are concluded.

The three, Nation Media Group’s NTV, Citizen TV of Royal Media Services Limited and KTN Newschannel, had their main transmission centres in Limuru blocked, while the state run Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and K24, associated with President Kenyatta, were allowed to operate.

Dr Matiang’i’s announcement comes amid public disquiet over the government’s arbitrary shutdown of the three private TV stations.

MEDIA FREEDOM

Central Organisation of Trade Unions-Kenya Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has accused the government of interfering with the freedom of the media.

The CA shut down the TV stations on Tuesday as they prepared to cover the “swearing-in” of Nasa leader Mr Raila Odinga as the people’s president at Uhuru Park.

Mr Atwoli, who spoke in Nairobi Wednesday, said that the move is illegal and goes against the Constitution of Kenya, which grants the freedom of the media, access to information and right to fair administrative action, among others.

“The government should move with speed and restore the operations of these TV stations. It is not only wrong but unconstitutional to block them for going about their normal business of informing Kenyans,” Mr Atwoli said adding, “This is not the time to go retrogressive.”

He added; “It doesn’t even happen in countries where presidents are hell-bent on causing problems to their people. The media have a right to cover events without harassment or intimidation.”

Source: Daily Nation/Nairobi News