Media Council fires tough warning at MPs attacking Citizen TV

Any politician who attacks the media is a threat to press freedom- MCK

File image of Citizen TV studios where Kimani Mbugua works

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has issued a statement condemning attacks directed at Royal Media Services owned station Citizen TV by Deputy President William Ruto’s allies.

MCK under CEO David Omwoyo said that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and its wrong for politicians to try and dictate what media houses should air or influence how they cover certain stories.

The council issued the statement while referencing to a social media post made by Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa who was referring to Citizen TV as ‘Githeri Media’ ‘Gutter Press’; asking his supporters to boycott the media House.

The Council noted that if the attacks continue it will move to court to prevent those involved from participating in next general elections on integrity grounds.

The Statement

“…The content of the post by the politician are an affront to media freedom and a clear sign of intimidation by politicians to the media and journalism at large. Where’s the politician has the right to disagree with the editorial and access to information as provided for in the constitution in articles 33, 34, 35 and the media Council act, 2013.

Accordingly, politicians can’t on their own accord term the media as unprofessional. Such action amounts to taking the law into their own hands and proceeding to pronounce judgement on an issue they are not made to prosecute.

Any politician who attacks the media is a threat to press freedom and the Media Council of Kenya will oppose their clearance for participation in the next election” reads part if the statement form MCK.

The MCK statement come hours after allies of Deputy President William Ruto started a campaign to boycott Citizen TV, accusing the station of biased reporting.

Citizen TV in is Sunday Live bulletin, reported that DP Ruto's convoy was stoned in enroute to Kieni in Nyeri County, which Ruto's allies said was false.

There was a scuffle in the quiet town of Naromoru as the leaders snaked past through towards Kieni.

A mob had tried to block the road but Ruto's allies maintained that the report was exaggerated

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