The Media Council of Kenya has condemned Bungoma Governor Hon Wycliffe Wangamati for threatening Royal Media Services journalist.
Wangamati allegedly threatened reporter Jimmy Simiyu over a story he has been pursuing.
In a press statement, the Council says it’s 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 12th June 2021.
“As a first intervention, the reporter was advised by the Council to report the matter to police which was recorded as OB 16/13/6/21 at the Bungoma Police Station,” stated the council.
The council now wants the Governor to desist from threats and respects the independence and freedom of all journalists.
Additionally, it has urged the Inspector General of Police to intervene by ensuring that the matter is expeditiously investigated with the view of bringing all those involved in the alleged violations to account.
“In the meantime, the police must guarantee the reporter’s safety and security and Royal Media Services to take measures to establish the truth behind allegations that one of its editors was involved in the transgression and if confirmed, takes disciplinary action against the said editor for interfering with the independence and freedom of the affected journalist and jeopardising his safety,” stated the council.
The council has called upon the public and various public governance levels, including County Governments, to refrain from threatening and obstructing journalists from undertaking their lawful roles.
“We remain committed to advocating for a safe working environment for Kenyan
journalists,” said MCK.