Media Council of Kenya condemns government's move to block media from Shakahola

Some of the bodies exhumed by police officers at Shakahola in Malindi, Kilifi County. [Marion Kithi, Standard]

Media council of Kenya on Thursday, April 27 asked the government to allow the media to document what is happening in Shakahola.

In a tweet, MCK condemned the government’s move to block the media saying that it is through the media that the happenings in Shakahola were brought to light.

“Denying the media access to report on such a matter of public interest will open the floodgates of misinformation, rumours and confusion to the whole country. It violates the principles of press freedom and the right to information. We call for establishment of a media centre&regular press briefings on site to ensure media access &dissemination of accurate information to Kenyans,” the tweet read.

On Wednesday, April 26, police blocked journalists from entering Shakahola forest claiming that the forest is a disturbed area and a crime scene.

Interior Cabinet Secretary, Kithure Kindiki also declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew within Chakama Ranch, Shakahola village in Malindi, Kilifi County for 30 days and banned public gatherings unless okayed by authorities.

"Curfew orders have also been declared and gazetted within the said area. There shall be no public gatherings, processions or movement either alone or as a group during the period of curfew into and out of Chakama Ranch except as shall be permitted, in writing, by the Kilifi County Police Commander in consultation with the Operation Commander.” the CS said.

So far, 360 people have been reported missing as 109 bodies have been exhumed.

The process of exhuming is still on and the government is expected to make a statement before the end of the day.