The government (Uhuru regime) has ordered all journalists that covered Raila and CORD brigade events in Busia to surrender the recordings.
CORD lead counsel Senator James Orengo has protested the order terming it harassment and curtailing of freedom of speech
In a statement on Tuesday, Siaya Senator James Orengo claimed that journalists who covered Cord leaders in Butula and Busia on Monday have been asked to surrender video footage of proceedings of the meetings.
“The police have expressed particular interest in the speeches made by Senator Johnston Muthama,” Orengo said.
He said that the move amounts to limiting freedom of speech, which in essence, marks the beginning of “the end of pluralism in thinking and ideas”.
Orengo said “such weapons are used by tyrants to kill opposition parties and democratic space”.
“It was the tool colonial regimes used before the banning of political parties by those who followed them…this mischief was positively dealt with as one of the positive outcomes of the IPPG when the laws of sedition were repealed by Act no. 10 of 1997,” Orengo said.
The Siaya senator said that before the repeal, many politicians were taken to court on allegations of seditious publications.
Orengo said that many Kenyans served long prison sentences on trumped up charges on the basis of the bad law, which the coalition is protesting.
The Senator said politicians like George Anyona, Edward Oyugi, Ngotho Kariuki and Njeru Kathangu were some of those who served long prison sentences on the basis of the law.
“It is the abuse of such laws that, even when the law is legitimate or justified, that creates hatred, contempt and dissatisfaction,” he said.
Orengo observed that the use of ‘scorched up policy’ is counterproductive as it destroys the positive energy of the public.
He said that criminalization of politics marks the beginning of the ‘dark age’ for the Bill of Rights.
“Jubilee cannot win this war because it is based on a falsehood and a false sense of entitlement to occupy for all time the high offices of the state – through ‘criminalization of politics, enlargement of the space of intolerance, bigotry and negative ethnicity,” Orengo said.
He pointed out that matters of public concern are aired through self expression adding that the truth cannot be differentiated from falsehoods through ‘enforced silence’.
The Senator said that the country will begin experiencing ‘clean’ political conversations if the Opposition is recognized for the role it plays in State affairs.
“Hygiene in our political conversation will only develop if the Jubilee administration recognizes the opposition as an integral part of the state and treats it and the leaders with respect and decorum,” Orengo said.