PS Raymond Omollo urges the media to report impartially

Interior PS Raymond Omollo. [File, Standard]

Ministry of Interior's Principal Secretary Dr Raymond Omollo has challenged the media to step up the level of objectivity and balance in their reportage of security and crime news.

He was speaking when he visited Bondo Township Chief Walter Omollo, whose house was burnt down by a mob during last week's protests in the area.

The PS has highlighted the dangers of one-sided narratives and called upon the media to demonstrate and uphold the integrity of journalism in their work.

With reference to the coverage of the recent anti-government demonstrations and the violence recorded in some parts across the country, Dr Omollo urged the media to refrain from sensationalized coverage that only perpetuates fear.

"It is important to guard against blowing things out of proportion. And, to me, this is where our friends from the media need to come in and support us. You must remain objective. You must be impartial in how you report whatever goes on," the PS said.

Dr Omollo further took issue with the persistent abuse of the right to demonstrate and picket and urged residents to shun violence as a means of expressing grievances.

"It cannot be in this day and age. I dare say it shows the highest level of primitivity. It cannot be that if I don't agree with you, the only solution you have is to burn my house or beat me up. We must get away from this."

The PS divulged that security agencies suffered the greatest losses during the demonstrations, and condemned violence targeting police officers and various public utilities.

"As security agencies, we have taken the greatest hit in terms of casualties in terms of injuries to officers. And it is something that we cannot allow to continue, because if we stop police officers from discharging their mandate, if we burn police vehicles if we vandalize police stations, the question I would ask any other ordinary Kenyan or any other leader is where does that take us?" he asked.

His remarks come at the backdrop of a report that showed that 305 law enforcement officers were seriously injured and 158 vehicles and nine police stations damaged by criminals masquerading as protesters.