KTN journalist threatened over Bungoma Hospital exposé

By Bryan Tumwa

Bungoma, Kenya: A KTN journalist has received death threats over footage that was aired on the station on Tuesday showing a pregnant woman giving birth on the floor at Bungoma District Hospital as nurses on duty looked on and at one point slapped her.

Mr Robert Wanyonyi received two threatening calls at 11:20pm and at 5:11am yesterday. “The caller IDs (identifications) were hidden and I could not tell who was calling but the first caller had a heavy accent.

They both had the same message that they will send me straight to the grave,” said Wanyonyi. He recorded a statement at Bungoma Police Station following the threats as the Standard Group condemned the threats.

Group Chief Executive Officer Sam Shollei said it was wrong for anyone to threaten a journalist.

“Whoever feels offended should seek other avenues for recourse instead of threatening a reporter. We condemn the habit of people threatening journalists, especially those of the Standard Group.

“As a media house that stands for public interest, we will defend the rights of our journalists to report freely without fear or favour.”

Mr Shollei said he has asked authorities to take action, urging them to get to the bottom of the threats.

“To us, public interest overrides any other interest. We will continue exposing rot in society and will not be intimidated,” said Shollei.

Meanwhile, the story elicited shock and dismay on social media, with the hashtag #thesickhospital trending on Twitter after 7pm and 9pm KTN news.