Civil society groups accuse the Kenyan government of gagging the media

Journalists in Mombasa hold demonstrations to demand speedy investigations into the mysterious deaths of their colleagues in September 2016 PHOTO:COURTESY

Mombasa,KENYA:Several civil society groups in the coast region have accused the Kenyan government of gagging the media.

The executive director of the International Centre for policy and conflict Ndung’u Wainaina while speaking in a press briefing on Friday in Mombasa mentioned Nation Media group Journalist  Walter Menya’s ordeal as an act to intimidate and instill fear on journalists working in the country.

The Nation Media Group journalist was arrested for reportedly soliciting a bribe for a story in Nairobi last Sunday.

Ndungu condemned the act terming it as unconstitutional.

“We strongly condemn the despicable, illegal and unconstitutional incarceration of the Nation Media Group journalist Walter Menya. This is a state instigated to attempt to intimidate, threaten attack and silence independent media. This is unacceptable in constitutional democracy.” Said Ndung’u

Mr Ndung’u condemned the act of using public resources by some political figures for their own interest saying that it stands a threat to the development of the society, breaching the Bills of Right as stated in the Kenyan constitution.

Concerning credibility of August polls, he made an assertion that the electoral body has to lie with the principles that will uphold the integrity of elections.

“Credibility of an electoral process is fundamental in ensuring and guaranteeing that the integrity of the vote is upheld. Ethics in an election includes five principles: Independence, Transparency, Integrity, Competence and Fairness.” He said.

This remarks comes a few weeks after Human rights watchdog body Human rights Watch accused the Kenyan government of laxity in investigating cases of journalists, bloggers and activists who have been harassed by factions allied to the government.

However the government spokesman Erick Kiraithe distanced the Kenyan government from the claims saying the Kenyan government supported the freedom of the press.