NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Three journalists from Mediamax were on Wednesday afternoon seriously injured when goons stoned Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s convoy in Dandora.
Sarah Ndung’u, a reporter working for the People Daily sustained a deep cut on the head and was rushed to a hospital in Buruburu where she received several stitches.
K24 and People Daily photojournalists, Patrick Kimanthi and Charles Mathai who were caught up in the fracas were also rushed to the same hospital.
Their cameras were confiscated during the attack.
Kidero condemned the attack on the three journalists saying they were stoned because he failed to dish out money to the people who attended his function in Dandora.
“This should be condemned. Journalists should be protected from hooliganism and they were stoned because I did not give money. Let it be known I will never give handouts,” he stated.
Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Programs Manager Victor Bwire said the council will coordinate with security agencies to ensure investigations are carried out to expose those responsible for the attacks.
“For democracy to prevail, journalists should never be intimidated or harassed in their line of duty. Such acts will not only undermine freedom of the media but also fuel the unnecessary political tension building up in the country,” Bwire stated.
Political Journalists Association of Kenya (PJAK) and the Kenya Union of Journalists joined other media professionals to speak against the attack that spread fears and concerns over the safety of journalists as the country got closer to the August General Election.
“As an association of political journalists in Kenya we are concerned that there is a new affront on political journalist and their lives are now more at risk as we head to the next general election,” PJAK complained.
Violence was also reported in Kisumu Central in Kondele after crowds hurled stones at a convoy belonging to MP Ken Obura.
Two vehicles including his car had their windscreens shattered with stones.
“They panicked that’s why they had some twenty or so youths trying to disrupt our function,” he said.
The MP was driven to safety and had to use a motorcycle to reach other parts of the city.
Those who expressed their concerns wondered how the main election would be if at all the voter registration exercise was already attracting such violence.