Kenyan mainstream media, led by Citizen TV, KTN, and NTV have given the Azimio demonstration that dominated the whole of Tuesday a total blackout, leaving millions of Kenyans in the dark, not knowing what is happening across the country.
This was a debut from the previous maandamano led by Raila Odinga where the mainstream media was covering every inch of the demonstrations live. In the previous maandamano, the media was all over the country covering it live.
On Tuesday, Kenyans expected to follow the demonstration live on their televisions as has been the norm. To their disappointment, the major TV stations in the country focused on other matters like talk shows, music, soap operas, and playing musical programs.
Sources within the media industry say that all media houses received a stern warning from both the regulator and the government that any media house that would cover the maandamano would miss out on government advertisement as well as have their licenses revoked.
For the first time, Raila Odinga and his team were not covered by the mainstream. For the whole day of maandamano, the power went to the social media platforms, the majority of which streamed the events live from different parts of the country.
Later during the day, Azimio leadership led by Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, and Kalonzo Musyoka held a presser where they told the country that the security detail of all the leaders affiliated with Azimio had been withdrawn on Monday night.
Azimio also alleged plans being in place, led by CS Moses Kuria and DP Rigathi Gachagua to assassinate Raila Odinga during the maandamano on Tuesday. The allegations have been refuted by those affiliated with the Kenya Kwanza government.
Reports of vandalism and destruction of property, including the torching of a lorry and a PSC bus have been reported. Azimio says some of the vandalism has been staged by the government to make Azimio look bad.