United States slams Kenya's opposition leader swearing

Wetang'ula Ruto trade barbs during burial of Kijana Wamalwa's widow in Kitale

Kenya's High Court ordered authorities to allow three major broadcasters to temporarily resume service Thursday, after they were switched off for covering the opposition leader's mock inauguration, prompting outrage over press freedom violations.

The gathering brought thousands of people to Uhuru Park, where they watched Raila Odinga, Kenya's opposition leader, swear an "oath of office" as "the people's president". Journalists slept in their newsroom to avoid being detained by plain-clothes police officers waiting outside the headquarters of NTV. Mr. Odinga lost last year's presidential election to Mr. Kenyatta after a tumultuous period of two national votes.

The U.S however, commended the restraint shown by security forces and urged them to continue to refrain from any unnecessary or excessive use of force saying any arrests and prosecutions must be made in full accordance with the rule of law and demonstrate transparent due process.

The interior minister condemned the move as an effort to "overthrow" the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won re-election past year in a re-run vote boycotted by Odinga.

Colville says the Commission is also concerned over Government's attempts to interfere with the rights to freedom of expression by reportedly warning that participation in the Opposition's "inauguration ceremony" would lead to revocation of licenses.

The media crackdown, criticized by the United Nations, the United States and former colonial power Britain, could set up a showdown between the judiciary and the executive next week. Omtata said he was able to serve the remaining court papers addressed to the attorney general, interior minister, and minister of information, communication and technology.

But the government has warned that Tuesday's events amount to treason - an offense punishable by death, according to Kenyan law.

Political activist Miguna Miguna could spend the weekend in a cell after police refused to free him despite a court order that he be released on a Sh50,000 cash bail. Odinga, who refuses to accept the election results, organized the opposition mock inauguration ceremony in defiance of the government, which called it treasonous.

Kenyatta won an August 8 election that was later nullified by the Supreme Court over irregularities.

Odinga, whom the government accuses of trying to force a bloody confrontation with the authorities, gave no hint in his five-minute speech at Tuesday's rally about future actions and deflected questions on Thursday about his next move.

"I am not a megalomaniac. So what I did is I pinned it on the wall - a copy of the order, but they ripped it off".

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