Kakamega journalists demonstrate following attacks, threats


Kakamega journalists held a peaceful demonstration over increasing attacks and threats against them from police and politicians.

They demonstrated along the busy Kakamega–Mumias Road from Shianda market to Mumias East Sub-County offices and presented a petition to Deputy County Commissioner Willy Cheboi.

At least three journalists in the area have been attacked in separate incidents recently while several others have received threats in a span of one week.

Nation correspondent Shaban Makokha was assaulted by administration police officers at Shianda Trading Centre while photographing youths fighting over money given to them by a politician.

"They clobbered me with rungus and threw me into a waiting police Land Cruiser, which drove to Shianda Police Station where I was locked up for close to three hours," said Mr Makokha.

The journalist was treated at St Mary's Mission Hospital in Mumias and discharged.

"They demanded to know why I was taking photos and pleas by one of the officers that I be spared fell on deaf ears as the rest pounced on me as if I were a hardcore criminal," he said.

Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali condemned the attacks against the journalists and demanded thorough investigations into the incidents.

"We cannot allow police accused of committing the atrocities to investigate themselves," he told Mr Cheboi, who added that those found culpable will face disciplinary action.

Two days earlier, rowdy youths at an ODM meeting in Kakamega assaulted Nation journalist Linet Wafula and destroyed her phone.

She recorded a statement at Kakamega Police Station. "I was lucky to have survived the ordeal, the goons had vowed to kill me," said Wafula.

Dan Ocholla (The Standard), had earlier been attacked and seriously injured by Kakamega County askaris while taking photos of injured workers at a construction site in the town.

He was treated at Kakamega General Hospital. He too recorded a statement at a local police station.

Crispin Sechere, also of The Standard, has also been threatened by hired goons.