JOHANNESBURG, February 2 – The Kenyan authorities have defied a court order that three TV stations, which were shutdown after they attempted to broadcast opposition leader Raila Odinga’s mock inauguration, must be allowed to resume broadcasting, Reuters reported.
Three journalists from NTV Kenya who had spent the night in their newsroom, fearing arrest from police encamped outside and after warnings that they would be taken in imminently as their lawyers took their cases to court, said they expected broadcasting to resume shortly.
“Government expected to restore NTV, Citizen TV and KTN News signals after High Court suspends switch off for 14 days pending case being heard,” they tweeted.
However, there was no response from the government or any explanation as to why the channels were still off air eight hours following the judgement.
President Uhuru Kenyatta warned last Friday that any media broadcast outlet that covered Odinga’s mock inauguration would be taken off air and their licences suspended.
Meanwhile, the US State Department has expressed grave reservations about Odinga’s provocative move which followed Kenyatta’s inauguration last November after several months of electoral turmoil.
In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said grievances must be resolved through legal mechanisms and added: “We commend the restraint shown by security forces and urge them to continue to refrain from any unnecessary or excessive use of force.”
– African News Agency (ANA)