Kenya police arrest opposition member present at Odinga’s ‘swearing in’

Kenya police arrest opposition member present at Odinga’s ‘swearing in’

NAIROBI – A Kenyan lawyer present at the symbolic “swearing in” of opposition leader Raila Odinga was arrested on Friday, the opposition coalition said.

Miguna Miguna was taken from his Nairobi home to a police station, the NASA coalition wrote on its Twitter feed.

An Odinga ally, Miguna has declared himself a leader of the opposition’s National Resistance Movement, which the government this week declared a criminal group.

He had stood beside Odinga on Tuesday at the symbolic presidential inauguration, which the government has called an “illegal act” that put the lives of thousands of Kenyans at risk [nL8N1PQ3JZ].

Police spokesman Charles Owino did not answer his phone when called for comment on the arrest.

It follows the arrest on Wednesday of an opposition lawmaker who administered Odinga’s “oath”. He was freed on bond on Thursday [nL8N1PR3S5].

The government took three private television channels off the air on Tuesday as they began to cover of the opposition ceremony. They remained off the air on Friday at 0730 GMT despite a court order on Thursday that overturned the government-ordered shutdown.

The government was not served with the court order on Thursday afternoon because of a delay at the court registrar’s office, Okiya Omtatah, an activist who filed the High Court case and won the lifting of the suspension, told Reuters.

“As soon as we serve the order this morning I expect the stations to be back on,” he said. “If not they’ll (the government) be in contempt of court.”

“It’s an abuse of power,” Omtatah said, of the government’s shutdown of the channels. “The laws are clear. That’s why the court ruled as they did.”

Odinga says last year’s elections, won by President Uhuru Kenyatta, were rigged.

 

Reuters