Media Council Issues statement after Governor threatened RMS Reporter

Journalists have staged protests over the threats

Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo

The Media Council of Kenya has issued a statement condemning threats by Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati directed at Royal Media Services Journalist Jimmy Simiyu.

In statement, the council asked the Governor Wangamati to desist from threatening the said reporter and respect the independence and freedom of all journalists.

Reports indicate that the reporter started receiving threats from the Governor over a story he was pursuing.

Simiyu is said to have filed a story about the Governor, but unfortunately an editor RMS “killed” the story after getting a kickback from Wangamati who then promised to square it out with the RMS Journalist.

Threats

“The Council is also aware of the allegations that Governor called the reporter to threaten him after an Editor at the media house tipped him off a story the reporter had filed over an event held in Bungoma County on 12th June 2021"

The council has slapped Governor Wangamati and Royal Media Services with the following demands;

  • That the governor henceforth desists from threats and respects the independence and freedom of all journalists
  • That the Inspector General of police intervene by ensuring that the matter is expeditiously investigated with the view of brining all those involved in the alleged violations to account. In the meantime, the police must guarantee the reporter’s safety and security.
  • That Royal Media Services takes 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 aid editor for interfering with the independence and freedom of the affected journalist and jeopardizing his safety.

The Council under CEO David Omwoyo Omwoyo also called upon the public and various public governance to refrain from threatening and obstructing journalists from undertaking their lawful roles.

Protests

On June 14th, a section of Journalists in Bungoma County staged protests condemning Governor Wangamati for threatening one of their own.

The Journalists matched on the streets of Bungoma Town, carrying placards with messages that say; "Justice for Jimmy Simuyu" and "Media Freedom is paramount"

Photos from the protests

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