The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has condemned a recent incident where NTV journalist, Mwangi Muiruri, was harassed, arrested and his personal stuff confiscated while he was covering Deputy President William Ruto’s event in Murang’a on Sunday November 14, 2021.
Muiruri was arrested for allegedly compromising the DP’s security while he was launching the Kangari United Dairy Co-op Society Limited, in Kigumo Constituency.
Reports indicate that the journalist stepped on the feet of one of the officers providing security for the DP, thus the altercation.
While condemning the roughing up and arrest of the journalist, Media Council noted that officers behind the incident should be brought to book, adding that the blame game between the DP’s security team and local police is being used to shield officers involved in the incident.
The council has invited the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) to step in and ensure officers who roughed up the journalist are dealt with in accordance to the law.
“The Council has requested the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) to help in the identification of the officers involved, probe the circumstances behind the incident and ensure their prosecution to prevent normalizing impunity and threats to press freedom in the country,” MCK’s statement read in part.
According to the Council, this is the fifth incident where journalists covering the DP’s rallies have been harassed and denied access.
The council noted that similar incidents were reported on 16th August, 2018 (Mombasa), 27th June, 2019 (Karen Residence- Nairobi), 10th August 2019 (Baringo), 1st September, 2019 (Kirinyaga) and 18th May 2018 (Eldama-Ravine).
“Consequently, the Council seeks to remind security agencies of the provision of the national mechanism for the safety and protection of journalists, under the auspices of the Kenya Media Sector Working Group where the National Police Service is a member, to respect journalists and allow them to do their work without unnecessary interference,” the Council divulged.