Media Council's tough demands to Magoha for likening journalist to Al-Shabaab

CS Magoha landed in trouble for allegedly ethnically profiling a female journalist from NTV

Education Cabinet secretary Prof George Magoha

The Media Council of Kenya is now demanding a public apology from Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Professor George Magoha for likening NTV journalist to Al-Shabaab during a recent media briefing.

Magoha landed in trouble for insinuating that the said NTV reporter might have links to the illegal terror group Al-Shabaab, simply because she was wearing a Hijab.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Media Council CEO David Omwoyo pointed out that Magoha has a tendency of intimidating and profiling journalists covering his events.

“The Media Council has noted the unfortunate remarks against a Nation Media Group journalist during a Question and Answer session with the cabinet Secretary for Education professor George Magoha on Monday, 25th, July 2022.

"Just recently, on 21st December 2021, the same Cabinet Secretary was also recorded on live TV making a personal attack against a Standard Group journalist Mr. Augustine Oduor for breaking a story on the launch of a Strategic Plan of a parastatal based at the Ministry of Education," noted Omwoyo.

In the statement, Omwoyo asked the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to ensure Magoha issues an unconditional apology and withdraws the unfortunate remarks.

“The Media Council of Kenya calls upon the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to ensure the Cabinet Secretary issues an unconditional apology, withdraws the unfortunate remarks and rescinds his directives against the smooth operation of the media.

"The Council is disturbed by such comments, actions and directives by a senior government official can expose members of the Forth Estate to unnecessary harassment, ridicule, and victimization in the line of duty,” the statement added.

The Council also castigated CS Magoha for always trying to prevent journalists from covering matters pertaining the Education sector in Kenya.

In the video that landed the CS in trouble, he could be heard asking an unseen journalist whether she represents infamous terror group, Al Shabaab.

"Where are you from? Which media house do you represent, because if you're representing Al Shabaab, I will not answer you," said Professor Magoha to which some individuals around him burst out into resounding laughter.

Upon seeing the video, Muslim leaders and clerics led by Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) stated that CS Magoha had undermined the constitutional and human rights to religion, human dignity and press freedom.

"His statements undercuts efforts to eradicate violent extremism, one of the greatest security threats to this country. It also exposes this lady and all Muslim girls to greater danger," stated SUPKEM Chairman Hassan Ole Naado.

The leaders further called upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack the CS as well as requested the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to take up the matter.

"We are calling upon the NCIC to take immediate action against the CS, the media council of Kenya to take it up and the President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has the appointing authority to sack the CS," said Naado.

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