By Daniel Kipchumba
The Media Council of Kenya, yesterday 1st August 2022, held a breakfast meeting at Merica hotel, which brought together Nakuru-based journalists, and security personnel drawn from different departments.
During the meeting, the security personnel and the journalists highlighted several bottlenecks that have before hampered smooth working relationships between the two.
Speaking during the meeting, Mr David Omwoyo, the Media Council of Kenya’s Chief executive officer, said that the security organs and journalists are supposed to work in tandem. ‘The media has the role of informing the public on what is happening during the election, and of course, the security organs provide the most needed security assurance for peaceful elections, therefore there is a need to forge a good working relationship.’ He said.
While addressing the participants in the same meeting, Nakuru county co
mmissioner Mr Erastus Mbui, pledged a harmonious working relationship, through the provision of information to the media, especially so, as we head to the upcoming general elections. ‘We are available for you anytime you need any information, though, for operation purposes, not everything is supposed to be disclosed, for us to have a good conclusion on what we are pursuing.’ He said.
Mr Francis Murethi, a journalist in Nakuru, called upon the security personnel to always be open to providing information whenever it is needed because lack of that provides gaps for speculation. ‘It’s good for the security personnel to provide information on an issue as sought by journalists because they work under very tight deadlines.’ He said.
In 2017, Kenya Television Network (KTN) journalist Duncan Khaemba and his cameraman Otieno Willis, were arrested by police, while reporting on post-election violence in Kibera. They were accused of wearing bulletproof gear, despite producing import licenses. The wall street journal Africa reporter Martina Stevis was hit by a police officer with a hood on her head while covering the same violence in Kibera.
Mr Omwoyo said that the Media council will continue with these kinds of meetings, to bring understanding between the journalists in various parts of the country, and the security organs.
In the meeting, journalists were urged to verify every piece of information before relaying it to the public for consumption. The meeting was brought together by the Media Council of Kenya through the coordination of its regional coordinator Mr Jackson Karanja.