NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has asked the police to speed up investigations into the death of a journalist working with the Star newspaper in Mombasa.
The MCK wants the police to carry out a thorough probe to determine what killed Bernard Ochieng Wesonga.
“The council is calling on the police to conduct thorough investigations into the death of the journalist and to bring those who may be responsible for the death to book, owing to the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death,” MCK said.
The journalist, 27, was found on Sunday morning in his house with blood oozing from his nose and mouth.
The MCK which has previously raised concerns over silent intimidation of journalists complained that although there is media freedom, some Kenyan journalists are still facing attacks.
According the council, it was not the first time that journalists have lost their lives while others have gone into hiding due to threats after publication of sensitive stories.
The body noted that threats had actually increased over the electioneering period with some of them even being offered money to drop stories affecting their attackers.
“Through our Press Freedom Monitoring portal where incidences that infringe on the freedom of journalists are reported, MCK has noted that many journalists have recently faced threats, both related to the just-concluded elections and on corruption where many were harassed and attacked in related violence,” the council indicated.
The Kenya Correspondents Association echoed MCK’s call for thorough and speedy investigations into the death of Wesonga whose body was discovered by his housemate at Kaachonjo Estate in Tudor on Sunday morning.
Coast Provincial Police chief Aggrey Adoli said no suspect had been arrested over the death but investigations were still going on.
Mombasa Divisional police boss Kipkemoi Rop told Capital FM News that a post-mortem would be conducted early on Wednesday morning.
“We expected a post-mortem today but there were no pathologists. So it will be done tomorrow morning and by latest 11am we should know the cause of his death,” he asserted.
The police on Monday said they were also using his mobile phone to find leads that may determine how he died.
Colleagues expressed shock and concern over the death of Wesonga whom they described as a courageous newsman whose interest was investigative journalism.
Wesonga was said to have had drinks with friends in various pubs in Mombasa town before he went home on Saturday night.
His roommate found him dead after gaining access to his house after noticing he had slept longer than usual.