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Clergy defend media against claims of bias

Muslim leaders and a journalists lobby have defended the media over accusations of bias.

Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya organising secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa said Monday it is wrong for politicians to pinpoint a media house and accuse it of bias.

“The journalists worked tirelessly, especially during the electioneering period in telling Kenyans what they could. Let us not accuse them without valid reasons,” Sheikh Khalifa told journalists at the CIPK headquarters.

IMPARTIAL
He was responding to an attack on Nation Media Group by opposition leaders, who accused it of bias.

Siaya Senator James Orengo had said Nation and NTV were deliberately ignoring the “truth from the opposition side”.

Mr Orengo also asked the public not to watch NTV or buy the Daily Nation. Ironically, he was live on the same channel.

However, Sheikh Khalifa urged journalists to remain independent in dealing with challenges they face.

“We saw the vital role you played by ensuring that you report responsibly. We pray for you and God will protect you,” he said.

APPEAL

The clerics urged those aggrieved by the election outcome to follow the right procedures in disputing the results.

“Elections are now over we tell those who were not satisfied by the outcome to move to court to avert violence,” Sheikh Khalifa said.

Meanwhile, the International Organisation of Journalists Welfare has condemned profiling of media houses and journalists by the police, politicians and protesters “as part of their collateral damage” in the disputed presidential elections.

ATTACKS
The organisation representative in Kenya, Kenneth Ogosia, said journalists have been intimidated by politicians and were being obstructed from discharging their duty.

“We have watched police intimidating journalists and obstructing them from discharging duty ostensibly to ensure peace while using excessive force against protesters,” Mr Ogosia said.

SABOTAGE

He said NMG has been caught between a rock and a hard place “in this economic sabotage endeavour thereby trapping its journalists in life threatening environments”.

“The mass action coded language against the media house is uncalled for since there is no evidence that the politicians had asked NMG to clarify those claims,” he said.

Mr Mucheru assured journalists that they will be protected.

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