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UPDATE: Kenya government names opposition movement a criminal group

Kenya’s government has outlawed the opposition’s National Resistance Movement following its “swearing-in” of leader Raila Odinga in protest of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new term.

Interior Minister Fred Matiangi in a gazette notice has declared the movement an organized criminal group. According to Kenyan law, being a member of an organized criminal group can lead to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, a fine of more than $5,000 or both. Property of members of organized criminal groups can be seized.

Kenya’s government had warned that Tuesday’s mock inauguration of Odinga as “the people’s president” after months of election turmoil would be considered treason.

In doing so, the CS placed NRM on a list that also includes terrorists groups like Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda.

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Other groups like Mungiki, which is involved in murders and kidnappings are also in the list.

NRM agitates for electoral reforms and boycott of products and services provided by companies deemed to be pro-government.

Members of the public are usually warned against getting involved in activities of proscribed groups.

Harsh penalties, including life imprisonment and hefty fines of up to Sh1 million are imposed on those who do.

Previous ministers in charge of Security have on occasions proscribed various groups.

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