Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha’s bodyguard is on the spot for assaulting and inappropriately touching two journalists during the coverage of the CS’s visit to Kosawo Primary School in Kisumu.
The officer, yet to be named, is accused of assaulting Nation photographer. The officer reportedly grabbed the journalist by his genitals after the scribe accidentally bumped into him while taking shots of the CS.
According to a statement issued by Kisumu Journalist Network (KJN), signed by the union's chairman Rushdie Oudia; the said bodyguard also groped another female journalist during the same event. The union says the officer grabbed the journalist’s posterior before pushing her to the side while making way for the CS. She is attached to People Daily.
The journalists were part of a group of reporters and photographers covering Magoha’s tour of Vihiga and Kisumu county schools to assess the delivery of desks to the various institutions.
However, this is not the first time the CS’s aide has been accused of harassing the journalists. He is also accused of allegedly inserting his finger in the mouth of another journalist in Vihiga County.
KJN has condemned the officer saying his actions are “brazenly been mutilating the freedom of the press” and harassing media persons in the presence of the CS.
“Under the current constitution, the police are the National Police Service and no longer a force and therefore should carry out themselves in accordance to their code of ethics and in line with the constitution,” read the statement by KJN.
The network now demands legal action against the officer adding that he will undoubtedly continue "harassing journalists and the public" if left scot-free.
The incident has brought a lot of concern especially for journalists who get mishandled by government officers while executing their duties.
In March, Mombasa journalists were also harassed by police officers when covering the implementation of the nationwide curfew.
A video showed an officer kicking the journalist—Peter Wainaina— for doing his job hours before the curfew.
According to the United Nations, Journalism is one of the dangerous professions in the world. The biennial report also said that in 2018 to 2019, a total 156 journalists were killed worldwide, and over the past decade, a journalist was killed – on average – every four days.
A report by the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)- Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity revealed that only 13 per cent of crimes against journalists in 2020 were reported “as resolved” compared to 12 per cent in 2019.
87 per cent of such cases worldwide are still not resolved according to UNESCO.