Nairobi, KENYA: Civil societies of Kenya have condemned the government for failing to comply with the court order that required them to switch on the television stations closed down as well as releasing some of the opposition leaders after a bond was given.
The civil society led by Kenya Humana Rights Commission (KHRC) chairman George Kigoro under the hashtag, #NotInMyCountryKe said that they cannot stand to see this happening.
He said that Editors are now facing the threat of arbitrary arrest for simply doing their job of providing the public with information which is later regarded as a crime by the government.
“On the 30th of January, the Jubilee regime shut down 3 media houses, and extended the information blackout with threats of investigation for ‘subversion’. Security forces have launched a crackdown on journalists, editors, and opposition leaders, and after some vindictive drama, charged an MP with an offense that it will be difficult to prove in court. Ordinary citizens have not been spared – they are also being threatened with arrest for supporting the peaceful swearing-in of Raila Odinga as ‘The Peoples President.” Said Kigoro.
The chair argues that what is happening in the country is dangerous to be kept in the dark, as it has happened with the television blackout and maiming of people.
“Kenya is deeply divided and unhappy after a fraught and violent election year that seems to have produced no real winners. The unhappy stalemate is hurting us as citizens and setting the stage for conflict. We are deeply concerned about reports of inter-communal violence, with people being attacked and killed because of their ethnicity. Ethnic mafias are being mobilized. There are protests in the counties – what is happening in our country? It is dangerous to be kept in the dark, as happened with the television blackout,” He added.
The group did not fail to mention that the police presence during demonstrations do fuel violence as it was contrary witnessed during Raila Odinga swearing-in day where people were very peaceful.
“The government claims it has averted a ‘looming massacre’. But this flies in the face of the truth. The gathering of thousands of people from all over the country on Tuesday, January 30 2018 was historically and overwhelmingly peaceful. It proved that – given the chance – Kenyans express their hopes and desires for their beloved country peacefully. It tells us what we knew to be true in 2017: that it is the Kenyan police that bring violence, not the people.” He said.
He further said that there has been plenty of pressure on both sides of the political divide to engage in dialogue and talk and the deafening silence is threatening to reverse gains the country made since the 2007-08 post-election violence.