Matiangi says NTV, KTN and Citizen TV to remain off air
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi says NTV, KTN News and Citizen TV that were taken off-air Tuesday will not be allowed to operate until investigations on their alleged involvement in NASA activities are complete.
He said the government had commenced full investigations around the purported ‘swearing-in’ of Raila Odinga as the People’s President and said they would also be going after his accomplices.
The CS says media personalities are among several individuals and organizations accused of involvement in illegal activities which may have led to bloodshed during Odinga’s oath at Uhuru Park.
“What was witnessed at Uhuru Park was a well-choreographed attempt to subvert or overthrow the legally constituted Government of the Republic of Kenya,” read the statement he gave to the media.
“The government was and is aware of the role of some elements in the media fraternity who participated in furtherance of this illegal act.”
He accused the affected media and actors of being fully aware of the security situation having been briefed well ahead of the “illegal activities of NASA but unfortunately, they disregarded the advice”.
Matiangi says the government received credible intelligence of a widespread plan by NASA and unnamed actors who planned to cause mayhem and bloodshed at Uhuru Park and blame it on the police.
“This was a very well choreographed plan intended to use an excuse of a possible conflict between law enforcement agents to occasion a massacre of our people and shed the innocent blood of Kenyans,” he said.
“We took the decision to exercise restraint to deny the criminal agents confrontational opportunities by withdrawing security from Uhuru Park.”
Police had announced that Uhuru Park was to be sealed off from any political activity and even sent officers there but they were withdrawn at dawn to allow NASA proceed with the swearing-in.
The government shut down of media houses received widespread condemnation from human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurist Kenya among others.