31 October 2017

Kenya: Journalists Attacked By Nasa Goons Asked to Report to Police

Photo: Tonny Omondi/The Nation
Journalists react after they were teargassed by anti-riot police who did not want to be filmed during a demonstration in Kisumu on October 13, 2017 (file photo).

Nairobi — Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome has urged journalists attacked at Wiper Headquarters to report to Muthangari Police Station for further action.

Already a probe has been launched by the Ministry of Information and that of the Interior, with a view to ensuring that the perpetrators face the full force of the law.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru on Tuesday condemned the incident while assuring the media that the government will continue to ensure that the right to perform their duties in accordance with the law is protected.

"The Constitution guarantees the media the freedom to exercise their right under article 34 and it is therefore unacceptable that NASA supporters went out of their way to contravene this constitutional provision," he warned.

"As Cabinet Secretary responsible for the media sector, I condemn this act and assure the media that the government will continue to ensure that their right to perform their duties in accordance with the law is protected.

My ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior is investigating this incident with a view to ensuring that the perpetrators face the full force of the law."

This is the latest in a series of attacks targeting journalists covering political functions for alleged unprofessionalism.

"The government takes great exception with the unwarranted attack against the members of the press who were at the said venue to perform their legitimate duty in accordance with the Constitution," he asserted.

The journalists, Francis Gachuri of Citizen TV and NTV's Jane Gatwiri were roughed up by supporters of the National Super Alliance (NASA) while covering an event at the Wiper Party Headquarters in Nairobi.

Before the attack, a group of young men repeatedly issued verbal warnings to the battery journalists as they singled out Citizen, NTV, KBC as being leaning towards the re-election of the President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Journalists rejected attempts by ODM Director of Communications Phillip Etale to reconsider their stand to leave the event.

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