Kenyan officials have shut down four television stations ahead of the planned swearing-in of opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.
According to the management of NTV, Citizen and KTN and Inoro TVs, there has not yet been any official communication as to why this action was taken. The government is yet to make a comment on the matter.
Addressing journalists today, Musyoka said they would seek an explanation from the communications body.
Earlier, Kenya’s Editors’ guild issued a statement condemning threats against the media by the Jubilee government.
Linus Kaikai the guild chairman says they are gravely alarmed by the growing trend of government to gag the media over coverage of the current political events in the country.
He also regrets that a section of media managers and owners were secretly summoned to State House on Friday for a meeting whose agenda is yet unknown.
Kaikai adds that at the meeting, President Uhuru Kenyatta reportedly threatened to shut down any media house that would broadcast live the planned swearing in of NASA leaders.
He thus calls for free operating space because the media does not work in the interest of any political force.
National Super Alliance supporters were this morning seen trooping into Nairobi’s Uhuru Park ahead of their leader Raila Odinga’s planned swearing-in.
Several NASA MPs, including Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati are reportedly among leaders who have been mobilising supporters.
Meanwhile according to the Nairobi-based Daily Nation, it is unusually quiet at Raila Odinga’s residence in Karen ahead of his swearing-in at Uhuru Park today.
On a day that is expected to be dominated by pomp and fanfare, nothing much is happening at the opposition leader’s residence.
The media has been blocked from accessing his home and are currently camping outside the main gate.
The guards manning the gate say they are under strict instruction not to allow the media into the home.
It is not clear however whether Mr Odinga is at his Karen home as there are conflicting reports of his whereabouts by people close to him.
At around 7.30am, Mr Odinga’s youngest son Raila Junior said that his father was not home.