31 October 2017

Kenya: NTV, Citizen Journalists Assaulted At Nasa Meeting

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).

Journalists have been forced to walk out of an event presided over by Nasa leader Raila Odinga after goons attacked reporters accusing them of bias in the just concluded presidential election.

Citizen TV reporter Francis Gachuri and NTV camera Jane Gatwiri were assaulted by goons who invaded the headquarters of Wiper Party during the Nasa Parliamentary Group meeting, which had been called to make a decision on the future

The goons had invaded the venue of the meeting seeking out Citizen TV crew members and express their dissatisfaction over the manner the station relayed results from the 290 polling station in the repeat presidential election in which President Kenyatta was declared the winner with over 98 per cent of the votes cast.

The goons approached Mr Gachuri and forcefully ejected him from the event even as they accused the station of having been part of scheme to rig the elections in favour of Jubilee.


In the process of filming the ejection Mr Gachuri, the goons asked NTV's Gatwiri to stop the filming and one of them slapped her in the process.

Journalists covering the event, including those from the foreign media houses, walked out of the event in protest at the humiliation of their colleagues.

In a statement, Nasa said it was deeply disturbed by the incident and registered unreserved apology to two reporters who fell victim to this unfortunate incident.

"We wish to make it clear that the youth acted on their own and we condemn their actions in strongest terms possible. We ask media houses that may have captured the said youth on video to provide them to the Coalition for investigation and action," said Nasa's Kathleen Openda.

The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) also condemned the attack and demanded action from the coalition.

"These acts of violence against journalists are not acceptable and we demand action against the perpetrators. If such acts do not stop, we will advise journalists to stay away from such events," said KUJ secretary general Erick Oduor.


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