Nyali MP Mohammed Ali came under heavy criticism following his remark about the attack on a vehicle carrying journalists during Azimio protests in Nairobi on Thursday, March 30.
NTV's Ben Kitili digs into Moha Jicho pevu in 'gloves off' criticism
NTV anchor Ben Kitili did not mince his words in his criticism of Nyali MP Mohamed Ali
Moha Jicho Pevu, as he was popularly known during his media career, claimed that the injured journalists were at fault to ride in the vehicle assigned to carry Raila Odinga’s media team.
In the incident, a police officer fired tear gas canisters at close range inside the vehicle, seriously injuring some of the occupants.
“Look at this number plate closely its KDD 233P but taped KBB 233B.It's not a media car, it's loaded with speakers. The mistake the journalist did was to be embedded with politicians. Dangerous trend for journalists. They must choose to report facts or be Azimio gun for hire, which they are,” Moha said in a tweet.
NTV news anchor Ben Kitili blasted Ali claiming that he was a disgrace to the journalism profession after he failed to show empathy on the attack that left two journalists in hospital.
Kitili said that as a former media personality, Moha should help protect the profession but had instead, chosen to side with the government.
“Mhesh, you are a letdown to this profession. You are a lawmaker yet you're using technicalities to justify police deliberately attacking and maiming journalists?
“Dark days ahead. It's particularly disappointing coming from you. Doctors who are politicians protect their profession,” the NTV news anchor said.
Nation editor Raymond Mujuni added that the police officer was wrong for firing a canister into a closed vehicle despite the journalist riding in the same vehicle as Odinga's media team.
"Even embedded reporters, reporters traveling in cars of politicians, media teams of politicians should enjoy human rights! There’s no justification to fire crowd dispersing teargas into a closed car with less than five occupants. Do better Moha! You’ve been embedded before," he said.
Former Citizen TV reporter Enock Sikolia also weighed in saying "Moha knows very well why cameramen prefer using this car. The sound vehicle. Even the president's team allows cameramen on his sound vehicle. any sound cameraman will go for it for these reasons."
The incident was also condemned by the Media Council of Kenya which said that at least 25 journalists have been targeted by both police officers and protesters since the demonstrations began on March 20.
The Media Lawyers Association of Kenya (MLA) also expressed deep concern and outrage over the recent incidents of police brutality against journalists covering the demonstrations.
In a press release, the MLA condemned the violent behaviour of the police officers and called for a thorough investigation into the matter.
The lawyers also urged the authorities to take swift action to ensure the safety of journalists covering demonstrations and to protect the right to freedom of expression, which is a fundamental pillar of democracy.
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