Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Thursday ordered his security team to throw out all journalists covering his event in Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.
Mutua, who was launching his Maendeleo Chap Chap party, said:
“I don’t want to see media here…bouncers hakuna kupoint, shika shingo tupa nje, nyonga hao, watupe nje (grab their necks and throw them outside, strangle them and throw them outside).”
Some journalists who were busy covering the launching couldn’t believe the statement.
The Governor, who apparently realized the implications of his order later, apologized to the media crew, citing that he was misunderstood.
He stressed that nyonga hao was for them to grab their shirt. He further said that he had wanted some uninvited people who invaded the program to be sieved out.
In another incident that took place on Tuesday, two female journalists were attacked at Nyeri County Assembly. The attacks happened during an impeachment motion against Gover Nderitu Gachagua as Ward Representatives began fighting each other.
As reported, an average of seven journalists face assault every month in Kenya and not much is done to reduce such attacks.
A 2015 report prepared by ARTICLE 19 shows that journalists in Kenya faced an increased attack. The organisation recorded 65 individual attacks from between January and September 2015.
According to the survey:
Of the 42 incidents recorded by ARTICLE 19, only three have been investigated and the perpetrators are taken to court; this is an unacceptably high level of impunity regarding attacks on journalists,” said Henry Maina, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa Regional Director at the launch of the report Silenced and Intimidated: Attacks on Freedom of Expression in Kenya.
Little has changed in 2016 as some politicians still see journalists as “unwanted” at their events, forgetting that media plays a massive role in any democratic country.