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Kenya government critic in court amid crackdown


Kenya’s opposition party National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga  / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

A Kenyan government critic appeared in court Tuesday to face charges related to the mock inauguration of the “people’s president” Raila Odinga.

Miguna Miguna stood alongside the opposition leader during his symbolic swearing-in in Nairobi last week in front of tens of thousands of supporters, seen as a fresh challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

The charge says Miguna and others abetted an illegal oath that could bind Odinga to commit treason.

Odinga himself has not been prosecuted over the mock inauguration.

Miguna is also accused of being a member of the National Resistance Movement, an opposition group banned last week by the government for being a “criminal organisation”.

He entered no plea during his appearance at a Nairobi court.

On Thursday he goaded police, daring them to arrest him saying he had signed Odinga’s oath, “So if you want to take me to court for doing my job, come, baby, come!”

He also urged supporters to “take down portraits of illegitimate president Kenyatta” and burn them.

Armed officers used explosives to break down the door of Miguna’s Nairobi home in a dawn raid on Friday before arresting him.

Police ignored a judge’s ruling to release Miguna ahead of his court appearance.

Miguna’s arrest follows that of fellow government critics TJ Kajwang, a lawyer and MP who flanked Odinga during his mock inauguration, and George Aladwa, who is accused of helping to organise it.

Kenyatta’s victory in a re-run vote in October has sparked deadly clashes and polarised the country.

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KenyaRaila Odinga
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