Independently-owned Citizen Television and Radio stations said on Tuesday morning that authorities in Kenya forced them off the air to frustrate their plans of covering the event.
The media houses under the hammer of the President Uhuru Kenyatta are NTV Kenya, Citizen TV, Inooro TV and KTN.
“The Communications Authority of Kenya has switched off Citizen Television and Radio in most parts of the country over the coverage of the National Super Alliance (NASA) ‘swearing-in’ plan,” the Citizen website said.
According to a statement by NASA on Monday, supporters were requested to gather at Uhuru Park for the swearing in of Raila Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as President and Deputy Vice President of Kenya. The statement added that the historic event will be peaceful, in compliance with the constitution and the law.
Challenging the authorities, the statement read, “We nonetheless wish to put the Jubilee administration on notice that we will accomplish our mission come hell or high water.”
Meanwhile, NewsBreakers gathers that several hundred supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga gathered at a park in downtown Nairobi, determined to “swear in as president” their leader who boycotted a re-run election in 2017.
By 0600 GMT, about 400 people were gathered in Uhuru Park, near Nairobi’s main business district.
Though the police had said they would prohibit any illegal assemblies on Tuesday, there were no uniformed police in the park and no anti-riot officers or vehicles.
Local radio station Capital FM reported that supporters had been granted permission by Kenyan authorities to use the park.
Speaking on the inauguration, opposition supporters claim Odinga won the August vote.
“The swearing in that will happen today is legitimate based on the Aug. 8, 2017 election.
“Odinga is the one we recognise as the president and that is why we are swearing him in,” said hairdresser
— Daily Nation (@dailynation) January 30, 2018
Police and government spokesman were not immediately reachable for comment on that report.
However, the Star, Kenya tweeted that police teargas @RailaOdinga supporters for blocking Kenyatta Avenue.
— The Star, Kenya (@TheStarKenya) January 30, 2018
Reuters also confirmed that Kenyan police fired teargas on Tuesday to disperse thousands of opposition supporters gathering in central Nairobi to celebrate the planned swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga.