The man who swore in Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga during a mock inauguration has been arrested, his lawyer says.
According to Peter Kaluma, T.J. Kajwang who is an opposition legislator and lawyer, has been taken to the Nairobi’s criminal investigations department for questioning.
A few hours after Raila Odinga’s swearing in, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i declared National Resistance Movement (NRM), an arm of the opposition National Super Alliance, (NASA) an organised criminal group.
Kajwang’s arrest happened soon after Matiang’i announced that the government had launched investigations into Tuesday’s mock inauguration.
Mr. Kajwang and another lawyer, Miguna Miguna, were at the center of events at Uhuru Park. Mr Kajwang donned a lawyer’s robe and wig and received a thunderous welcome by NASA supporters.
The minister says the investigations will extend to “conspirators and facilitators.”
The minister also said that the government shutdown of the country’s top three TV channels will continue until investigations over their supposed links with the NASA wing of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are complete.
This move has been met with outrage from the public with the Central Organisation of Trade Unions-Kenya Secretary-General Francis Atwoli accusing the government of interfering with the freedom of the media.
“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.”
Rights groups have also decried the move by the government calling it a “violation” of the public’s right to information.
“Kenyan authorities have restricted media coverage at a critical moment, and violated the public’s right to information about important events,” said Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Kalonzo’s home attacked
Meanwhile, another Odinga ally says his home was attacked overnight in “an assassination attempt.” Former Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka says someone fired gunshots and detonated a grenade at his home.
In an interview with the Associated Press by phone on Wednesday, Mr. Musyoka says the attack occurred hours after his police security was withdrawn. He also says he had been blocked from attending Odinga’s mock inauguration. Musyoka was supposed to take oath as Odinga’s Deputy President.
The police however denied claims that Musyoka and two other NASA leaders, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula were under house arrest during the “swearing-in”.