SECTIONS

Now Police officers want Standard Reporter over graft Story

Nairobi, Kenya: Police officers in Kenya's capital, Nairobi are looking for Standard Group's Parliamentary reporter Alphonse Shiundu over a story he wrote on the Interior ministry about questionable tenders.

Mr Shiundu is facing a similar fate like Nation Media Group's Parliamentary editor John Ngirachu who was arrested Tuesday by Directorate Criminal Investigation officers with Interior Cabinet Secretary, Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery demanding that he discloses his sources of information.

In what has been seen as a fresh attack on media freedom, the arrest and police summonses have elicited outrage from within government and Opposition alike as well as Church leaders and the civil society.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the onslaught on media professionals and the brief detention Mr Ngirachu by police on Tuesday.

 At the same time, the Media Council of Kenya is gravely concerned and disturbed over rising cases of harassment and intimidation of journalists.

The Council is particularly bothered by the arrest of John Ngirachu, a parliamentary editor with the Nation Media Group over an article deemed offensive by the Interior Ministry.

It is against the spirit of Media Freedom and Freedom of Information for the CS Nkaissery or any security officer to demand revelation of the source of information Mr Ngirachu used to write his story as this amounts to abuse of Journalists right to protect their sources.

"As the body charged with ensuring the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties, the Council is particularly concerned with  the increasing number of journalists facing threats, harassment and in extreme circumstances murdered in the course of duty in Kenya," Dr Haroun Mwangi the CEO of the council said in a statement.

Kenya Editors' Guild chair Linus Kaikai equally voiced his concerns on increasing attempts to intimidate and muzzle the media by State agencies. He condemned the arrest of the journalist and demanded the police and the State respect independence of the media and freedom of expression.

Kenya Union of Journalists Secretary General Oduor said he will mobilize members and resources to jealously guard freedom of the media in Kenya without fear or favour.

"KUJ strongly condemns the harassment of journalists by Jubilee Administration. Summoning Shiundu to record a statement over a story is a ploy to intimidate journalist by government that rocked with graft scandals," Oduor said in a terse statement.