- The Kenya Editors Guild has condemned the threats by government to shut down media houses that would dare cover the NASA Event at Uhuru Park.
- It is alleged that the government is against live airing of the event.
The Kenya Editors Guild has condemned the threats by government to shut down media houses that would dare cover the controversial swearing in of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as President and deputy president respectively, an event scheduled to happen on January 30 at Uhuru Park Grounds.
In a statement by the chairman of the Kenya Editors Guild Linus Kaikai, the editors were upset with the summoning of media managers from the main media houses to State House, Nairobi last week where the president threatened to shut down media houses that dared to cover the NASA event on January 30. “We have just learnt today that on Friday last week, a section of media managers and select editors from the main media houses were quietly summoned to a meeting at the State House, Nairobi. The brief meeting attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru and AG Githu Muigai did not bode well for the freedom of expression and press in the country,” said Mr. Kaikai.
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Apparently, it is alleged that the government is against live airing of the event scheduled to take place at Uhuru Park, Nairobi on Tuesday, January 30 citing bias from the side of media in covering such events, claims which Mr. Kaikai protested terming it “dressing down” the media executives received at the State House meeting. “At the meeting, President Kenyatta expressly threatened to shut down and revoke the licences of any media house that would broadcast live the planned purported swearing in of NASA leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka on Tuesday. That direct threat has subsequently been echoed, off record by other senior members of government,” read statement.
However in the statement Kaikai condemned the threats and urged the media people to reject it and carry on with their duty to inform the public impartially. “Consequently, the Editors Guild condemns and rejects the threats and purported instructions issued at the State House on Friday. We call on all media houses and journalists to carry on their work diligently and to report impartially on all matters of public interest as they have always done. The government should also ensure that journalists are neither harmed nor intimidated as they perform their work on Tuesday and thereafter”, the statement read in part.