The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has condemned the attacks on journalists who were covering a security operation at an illegal alcohol brewing den in Matungulu, Machakos County on Monday.
The journalists, Mike Ndunda from Kamba TV, Richard Muasya from Athiani FM and Boniface Mutisya from Mutongoi TV, had been invited by the local chief Francis Mulinge to cover the raid in Katine area.
However, they were attacked by a group of individuals as they recorded the operation.
The MCK said that the attacks violated the journalists’ basic human rights and undermined the principles of free speech and open discourse that are vital for a democratic society.
“Freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of a democratic society, and journalists play a crucial role in keeping the public informed by highlighting societal evils. It is essential that journalists can carry out their work without fear of violence or intimidation,” MCK CEO David Omwoyo said in a press statement on Tuesday, September 19.
Omwoyo urged the law enforcement authorities to take swift and decisive action to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attacks, which it said were crimes against the journalists’ rights and privileges protected by law under the Constitution and the Media Council Act, 2013.
“Protecting the safety and freedom of journalists is a shared responsibility, and we must all work together to ensure that they can continue to do their vital work without fear of violence or reprisal,” said Omwoyo.
He encouraged anyone aggrieved by the media to report any complaints to the Complaints Commission, which is legally mandated to mediate on the same, instead of taking the law into their own hands.