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Kenyan gov't begins crackdown on key opposition allies after Odinga oath

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Nairobi, Kenya, February 1 (Infosplusgabon) - Kenyan authorities arrested opposition Member of Parliament Tom Kajwang, the lawyer who led opposition leader Raila Odinga to swear an oath of office as the People's President of Kenya on Tuesday, his party said.

 

The National Super Alliance (NASA) said the MP for a constituency in Nairobi, was arrested Wednesday, shortly after leaving the court-room where he was representing Parliament in a case against the Salaries and Remuneration commission tasked with determining salaries for all state officials.

 

"I have just been arrested by eight Flying Squad Policemen led by one Police Constable Cheruiyot," Kajwang was quoted as saying by the NASA Communication Centre.

 

"If my arrest and ultimate prosecution is the price I must pay for my role in the swearing in of the People's President, so be it," Kajwang stated.  Shortly after the arrests, opposition lawmakers immediately drove to the Nairobi Provincial headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department, where Police used teargas to disperse them.

 

The opposition leader Odinga has vowed to push for electoral justice and to ensure the non-return to the culture of rigged elections in Kenya.

 

Meanwhile, the shutdown of at least four television stations continued for the second day on Wednesday.

 

Interior minister Fred Matiangi said in a statement the government shut down the television stations to avoid incitement to violence.

 

According to Interior Cabinet Secretary, the swearing in ceremony of the opposition leader in Nairobi on Tuesday was a "well choreographed attempt to subvert or overthrow the legally constituted government of Kenya."

 

The government said a serious breach of security has taken place without producing the evidence of the security breaches.

 

According to the Cabinet Secretary, the opposition leaders had prepared a death squad which would have caused a blood-bath at Uhuru Park, the venue of the swearing in ceremony.

 

Police withdrew from the scene of the swearing in ceremony moments before supporters converged at the venue.

 

Three main opposition leaders, Musalia Mudavadi, the leader of Amani coalition, one of the main parties in western Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka, the leader of Wiper Party, the main opposition party in Eastern Kenya, and Moses Wetangula, leader of a party with support in parts of Western Kenya, also failed to turn up for the event.

 

On Wednesday, Police Spokesman Charles Owino confirmed there was a grenade attack at the Nairobi home of Musyoka.

 

Musyoka showed spent ammunition shells used by unknown attackers at his home and the safety pin of a grenade which exploded at the facility.

 

Opposition supporters said several opposition leaders were arrested after the arrest of Kajwang on Wednesday.

 

 

FIN/INFOSPLUSGABON/MOP/ GABON 2018

 

 

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