The Kenyan government through the Interior Ministry has declared National Resistance Movement (NRM), an arm of the opposition National Super Alliance, (NASA) an organised criminal group.
This was just few hours after opposition leader Raila Odinga was sworn in as the ‘people’s president’, in a brief ceremony at Uhuru Park, near the capital’s Central Business District.
The special gazette notice dated January 30 under the Prevention of organized Crimes Act read:
“IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 22 of the organized Crimes Act of 2010, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and National Government declares National Resistance movement (NRM) to be organized criminal group for the purposes of the Act.”
— InteriorCNG Ministry (@InteriorKE) January 30, 2018
In so doing, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and National Government, Fred Matiang’i placed NRM on a list that also includes terrorists groups like Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda.
The NRM was created by NASA to agitate for electoral reforms and boycott of products and services provided by companies deemed to be pro-government.
Raila Odinga had been warned earlier on by the country’s Attorney General that he could be charged with treason if the event went ahead with the swearing-in, a warning he defied.
The event was parked with more than 10,000 people who cheered him as he took the oath on the Bible.
Police earlier said they would prevent the assembly which had been termed illegal but they were not present in the park and no anti-riot officers or vehicles were visible.
According to a number of local radio stations, Odinga’s supporters had been granted permission to use the park.
An initial swearing which was scheduled for last December was postponed to January 30.