politics

Kenya Probes Media Companies Closed Over ‘Breach of Security’

  • TV channels were shut after broadcasting opposition event
  • Kenyan president had warned media not to cover ceremony

Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition leader Raila Odinga holds up a bible as he swears-in himself as the 'people's president' on January 30, 2018 in Nairobi. 

Photographer: PATRICK MEINHARDT/AFP

Kenya’s government began an investigation into media companies whose operations it closed down indefinitely on Tuesday after they broadcast an opposition swearing-in ceremony.

The state cut transmissions by Nation TV, owned by Nation Media Group, Standard Group Ltd.’s KTN and Royal Media Services Ltd.’s Citizen TV soon after they began broadcasting the event in the capital, Nairobi. President Uhuru Kenyatta on Jan. 26 advised media managers not to cover the proceedings, according to the Kenya Editors Guild.

“Some media houses chose to disregard this advice,” Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i said in a statement on Wednesday. “The government took a decision to shut down the concerned media houses until further notice as it launches a full investigation into the serious breach of security.”

Opposition leader Raila Odinga swore an oath of office declaring himself the so-called people’s president on Tuesday after rejecting the outcome of two presidential elections last year that handed Kenyatta a second term. The government had warned Odinga not to go ahead with the swearing-in, saying it would amount to an act of treason.

An investigation is being carried out into the swearing-in, Matiang’i said.

“The investigations will extend to co-conspirators and facilitators,” he said. “Upon completion of these investigations, appropriate legal action will be taken.”

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