Concerns raised over parliament summoning journalists

Parliament building in Nairobi. Two Mps allied to the deputy president have claimed that their lives are in danger PHOTO: COURTESY.

 Nairobi,KENYA:Kenya National On Human Rights commission has slammed parliament for summoning journalists before powers and privileges House committee.

In a press statement the chair of the commission Kagwira Mbogori warned that it is improper for parliament to initiate a debate  and expose the names of Dinah Ondari and Anthony Mwangi of People Daily who are also members of the Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association,  a move which might endanger their lives.

“The summoning of the two journalists before parliamentary committee on powers and privileges and specifically the public calling out their names ,on the floor of parliament instead of their publishers ‘exposes  them to the grave danger and compromises their security .”Mbogori warned in a statement

The two journalists recently did a story in People Daily , indicating that legislative house is rocked with bribery allegations engulfing  committees and various parties including parastatal chiefs  and government institutions  whenever they are subjected  house committees’ interviews  whereby the alleged corrupt dealings amounts to  sh 500 million.

There was a heated debate on the matter on Tuesday on the floor of the house where mps expressed their displeasure on how the journalists covered the story, others calling on the speaker to bar them from accessing to parliamentary buildings .

But Muturi ordered the committee on powers and privileges to summon the journalists to shed more light on the matter.

Mbogori urged  Muturi to desist from pressurizing the journalist to reveal the sources of their stories insisting that he ought to uphold the sacrosanct nature of journalists’ sources principle.

Consequently she urged the speaker to take all measures by ensuring that the institution of parliament   protects the rights of the journalists.