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Two Kenyan TV stations shuttered by govt resume broadcasts

Kenya’s opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition leader Raila Odinga (C) holds up a bible as he swears-in himself as the ‘people’s president’ on January 30, 2018 in Nairobi.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga had himself sworn in as an alternative president January 30 in front of thousands of supporters, despite warnings from authorities that this was treason. / AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA

Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Two television channels that Kenya’s government shuttered over coverage of a mock inauguration by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s rival resumed broadcasts on Monday.

NTV and KTN News were ordered off the air for seeking to provide live coverage of Raila Odinga as he swore himself in on Tuesday as “people’s president,” despite losing in flawed elections last year

A third suspended channel, Citizen TV has not resumed broadcasts.

Kenya’s political scene was roiled by last year’s deeply divisive election, in which rights activists say at least 92 people were killed.

An initial ballot on August 8 won by Kenyatta was annulled on technical grounds by the Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run on October 26.

Claiming the poll would still not be fair, Odinga boycotted the second vote and Kenyatta won with 98 percent.

Since then, the strategy of the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition has been to challenge Kenyatta’s legitimacy by seeking to establish parallel government structures.

Interior Minister Fred Matiangi blasted Odinga’s self-inauguration as a “well-choreographed attempt to subvert or overthrow the legally-constituted government.”

The media suspension was attacked by the UN, the United States and rights watchdogs. The High Court on Thursday ordered it to be lifted while a complaint filed by a civil society group is heard.

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