Kenya switches off TV stations amid opposition swearing-in fete

"The lesson for African leaders as a whole is that, Kenyatta did not send Police to disrupt the proceedings at Odinga's swearing-in". But it did demonstrate that - months after the country's contested election - a large number of Kenyans refuse to recognize the current government. The opposition claims hundreds were killed and accuses the government of suppressing reports of the true carnage while dumping body bags into mass graves. The move cleared the way for possible arrests. The county government also announced the park is closed for renovations. On Tuesday morning, three television networks broadcasting the rally appeared to have been shut down. Odinga's growing popularity among its supporters is quite obvious especially that he is depicted as the only legitimate Kenyan President.

Observers had said that the swearing-in would only further divide the nation and the crackdown on press freedom is likely to add to concerns about the state of Kenyan democracy.

Amid fears of violence, security was tight in much of the capital as police prevented some buses crammed with opposition supporters from entering the city.

The demonstrations come months after a whirlwind, contentious election cycle.

Kenyatta had also been declared victor of the August election, but the Supreme Court later nullified that result, over irregularities. He boycotted a repeat poll on October 25, saying it would not be free and fair. Many analysts suggested that Odinga had also pulled out of the race because he was unlikely to win.

President Kenyatta's re-election in August was overturned by Kenya's supreme court, which cited "illegalities and irregularities" in his victory over Mr Odinga.

Many hoped Mr Kenyatta would reach out to his rival. This proves that they do not have our interests at heart.

"We're trying to reach out informally to government officials, but we are not getting any answers", Waruru said.

"Africa has come of age so we can not allow this to be happening to us", Annoh Dompreh added. Thirty-two year old hairdresser, Benta Akinyi said: "Odinga is the one we recognize as the president and that is why we are swearing him in".

"This is the second time meetings have been held at State House to give directions to senior media managers on how to make editorial decisions in newsrooms", said Erick Oduor, the secretary general Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ).

On Friday, Kenya's opposition released what it called "authentic" election results showing Odinga won the August vote, but it refused to say how it obtained the information from the electoral commission's computer servers.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Odinga, clad in white, raised a green Bible in his right hand and swore an oath to assume the office of "People's President", promising to defend the constitution and to protect the sovereignty and dignity of the people of Kenya.


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