The Media Council of Kenya on Monday condemned threats by Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati directed at a Royal Media Services reporter.
Wangamati allegedly threatened reporter Jimmy Simiyu over a story he was pursuing.
“The Council is also aware of allegations that the Governor called the reporter to threaten him after an editor from the media house tipped him off about a story that the reporter had filed over an event held in Bungoma County on Saturday,” MCK CEO, David Omwoyo Omwoyo said in a statement.
BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,14TH JUNE,2021-Omwoyo said the reporter reported the matter at the Bungoma Police Station as advised by the council.
The Council has urged the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to intervene by ensuring that the matter is expeditiously investigated and culprits dealt with.
MCK has also noted that the reporter should in the meantime be given guaranteed safety and security by police.
The Royal Media Services has also been asked to establish whether one of its editors was involved in the transgression and if confirmed, take disciplinary action against the said editor for interfering with the independence and freedom of the affected journalist and jeopardizing his safety.
“The Media Council of Kenya calls upon the public and various public governance levels, including County Governments, to refrain from threatening and obstructing journalists from undertaking their lawful roles,” Omwoyo said.
This comes barely four days since Wangamati was summoned by the Senate Committee on Health to respond to audit queries on Covid-19 funds.
The Committee chaired by Senator Abdullahi Ali on Wednesday last week resolved to summon Governor Wangamati who failed to appear before it for the second time in a row.
Wangamati was invited by the Committee to re-appear before it on Tuesday after a botched meeting on May 31 since his responses and accompanying documents had not been received and reviewed by the Auditor-General’s Office.
The committee accused the governor of presenting ‘frivolous’ excuses and guilty of “treatment of the Senate with contempt.”