6 June 2013

Kenya: Media Free to Cover National Assembly Sessions - Speaker

Photo: Oliver Mathenge/the-Star
The Kenya Editors’ Guild has threatened to blackout Parliament coverage after journalists were evicted from the National Assembly.

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has dismissed claims that journalists were rejected from covering proceedings of the assembly as has been stated in a communique allegedly originating from the clerk of the National Assembly, Justin Bundi.

Muturi said that the statement attributed to Bundi was false and that clarified that journalists were only asked to vacate the media centre to allow the room to be used by some House Committees.

"There are several House Committees and the space at the Media Centre can accommodate two of them concurrently," Muturi said while clarifying that journalists will be assigned alternative accommodation.

Muturi further sought to clarify that the media did not need invites to cover the proceedings stating that the constitution guarantees the public access to the deliberations except in special circumstances where it is the Speaker and not the clerk that can ask the media to leave the gallery.

Suba MP John Mbadi who sought clarity on the alleged directive by Bundi said, "The communication if true was going to reflect the members of the House as intolerant."

The Parliament House Business Committee yesterday allegedly ruled to block journalists from covering proceeding at the National Assembly. According to a statement allegedly released by the clerk of the National Assembly Justin Bundi journalists were to be allowed to cover proceedings only after getting an invitation from the Bundi.

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