Category Archives: Journalism


From: Charles Banda

A well known trained journalist Denis Chirwa who is the son of Former Army Brigadier and Currently Malawi’s Ambassador to Kenya has died. It is believed that Denis met his fate at a night out in Nairobi Kenya were he was stabbed to death by unknown thugs.

Denis who nicknamed himself after Former President as Chair was well known in social media circus for his love of Former President Bakili Muluzi,he was also an on and off online journalist who used to show case his skills in writing about Malawi Politics.

Denis Chirwa was currently studying at Kenya’s Catholic University.


USA, D.o.State: Detention of Human Rights Lawyer and Journalist in Swaziland

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 6, 2014

The United States is deeply concerned by the continued detention of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and journalist Bheki Makhubu in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Maseko and Makhubu were first arrested in March and are being held on charges of contempt of court for publishing an article critical of the High Court of Swaziland.

The United States urges the judiciary of the Kingdom of Swaziland to recognize its obligation to uphold the rule of law and provisions regarding the protection and promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland. We call upon the Government of Swaziland to swiftly resolve the cases of Maseko and Makhubu in accordance with the law, including international obligations entitling them to trial within a reasonable time or release and setting forth the minimum requirements for a fair trial without undue delay.

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USA, State Dpt.: Press Releases: Press Availability in South Sudan

From: U.S. Department of State
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Embassy Juba
Juba, South Sudan
May 2, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good afternoon. I just completed an in-depth, very frank, and thorough discussion with President Kiir. And throughout the meeting, I think it’s fair to say that both of us spoke very candidly, very directly, and we got to the issues that I came here to discuss. Throughout the meeting, I made it clear to him that he needs to do everything in his power to end the violence, and also to begin a process of national dialogue, a process by which there is the beginning of discussions – real discussions – about a transition government that can bring peace to the country.

It’s fair to say that President Kiir was very open and very thoughtful and had thought even before this meeting about these issues, because we have talked about them on the phone in recent days, and because our special envoy and others have had conversations with him about it. So he committed very clearly his intention to do exactly that: take forceful steps in order to begin to move to end the violence and implement the cessation of hostilities agreement, and to begin to engage on a discussion with respect to a transition government.

I just spoke a few minutes ago to Prime Minister Hailemariam of Ethiopia to convey to him President Kiir’s willingness to travel to Addis Ababa in the near term, sometime early next week hopefully, in order to engage in a discussion with Prime Minister Hailemariam, and hopefully with Riek Machar, who had previously indicated to the prime minister a willingness to do so. And I hope to talk to him sometime later in the course of today to encourage him to do so.

This meeting of Riek Machar and President Kiir is critical to the ability to be able to really engage in a serious way as to how the cessation of hostilities agreement will now once and for all really be implemented, and how that can be augmented by the discussions regarding a transition government and meeting the needs of the people of Sudan. President Kiir and I have spoken about this many times over the course of the last months. We particularly spoke almost every day during the period from December 15th through the Christmas period. In fact, I even talked to him on Christmas Day, and was particularly pleased today to be able to return to Juba in order to sit down and discuss these issues face to face.

I’ve told President Kiir that the choices that both he and the opposition face are stark and clear, and that the unspeakable human costs that we have seen over the course of the last months, and which could even grow if they fail to sit down, are unacceptable to the global community. Before the promise of South Sudan’s future is soaked in more blood, President Kiir and the opposition must work immediately for a cessation of hostilities, and to move towards an understanding about future governance of the country.

I might also say that we do not put any kind of equivalency into the relationship between the sitting president, constitutionally elected and duly elected by the people of the country, and a rebel force that is engaged in use of arms in order to seek political power or to provide a transition. Already, thousands of innocent people have been killed and more than a million people have been displaced. And it is possible – as we’ve seen the warnings, because people have not been able to plant their crops – that there could be major famine in the course of the months ahead if things don’t change.

Both sides are now reportedly recruiting child soldiers and there are appalling accounts of sexual violence in the conflict. The reports of Radio Bentiu broadcasting hate speech and encouraging ethnic killings are a deep concern to all of us. The United States could not be any clearer in its condemnation of the murder of the civilians in Bentiu or in Bor and all acts of violence, including those that use ethnicity or nationality as justification are simply abhorrent and unacceptable.

If both sides do not take steps in order to reduce or end the violence, they literally put their entire country in danger. And they will completely destroy what they are fighting to inherit.

The people of South Sudan – and I’m talking about all the people of South Sudan – all of them have suffered and sacrificed far too much to travel down this dangerous road that the country is on today. That is why both sides must take steps immediately to put an end to the violence and the cycle of brutal attacks against innocent people.

Both sides have to do more to facilitate the work of those people who are providing humanitarian assistance, whether from the UN or from the UN mission or any organization that is responding to increasingly dire needs of citizens. Both sides need to facilitate access for humanitarian workers, for goods, for cash in order to pay salaries, and they need to provide this access to South Sudan’s roads, to its waterways, including to opposition-held areas. And we talked about this very directly this morning with President Kiir and his cabinet members.

It is important that both sides also act to ensure the safety and the security of the humanitarian workers themselves, and both sides must stop dangerous verbal attacks on people who are bravely providing relief to the South Sudanese people. It’s unconscionable that people who have come here not with weapons but with assistance are being attacked by both sides, and nothing will do more to deter the international community and ultimately to wind up in an even worse confrontation in the country itself.

Both President Kiir and Riek Machar must honor the agreement that they made with one another to cease hostilities, and they need to remember as leaders their responsibilities to the people of the country. The fate of this nation, the future of its children must not be held the hostage of personal rivalry.

Yesterday in Addis I spoke with representatives from the African Union and South Sudan’s neighbors about how we can coordinate and restore peace and accountability. We support the AU’s Commission of Inquiry in South Sudan, and I met this morning with the leader of that commission and listened to their early reports of their work. And we support the IGAD’s monitoring and verification mechanisms. The United States is also prepared in short order to put sanctions in place against those who target innocent people, who wage a campaign of ethnic violence, or who disrupt the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Even as we come here in this moment of conflict in an effort to try to find the road that has been obscured, I can’t help but remember – as I drove to meet with the president and as I came back here to our Embassy, having traveled here and been here a number of times – but particularly at the moment of self-determination for this country, it is important to remember what the people of South Sudan achieved for themselves recently. Through their efforts, through their commitment, through their patience, they helped to move this country to independence, to the creation of a nation, through peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future, and the opportunity to be able to try to achieve that. And they came together to create a new nation in that effort.

I remember walking in one community and watching people vote and talking to somebody who was standing out in the hot sun and who’d been there for hours. And I walked up to them and said, “Look, I hope you’re not going to get impatient. Don’t leave. You need to wait to vote.” And that person to me said, “Don’t worry” – I was then a senator – “Don’t worry, Senator, I’ve waited 50 years for this moment. I’m not going anywhere until I’ve voted.” The dedication that I saw, the commitment of people to try to create this nation deserves to be fully supported and the aspirations of those people deserve to be met by our efforts, all of us, to try to bring peace, and mostly by the leaders to fulfill the promise that made them leaders in the first place.

It is absolutely critical that to prevent that moment of historic promise from becoming a modern-day catastrophe, we all need to work harder to support the hopes of the people and to restore those hopes. We have to be steady in our commitment to the people of South Sudan. And I was encouraged yesterday in Addis Ababa by the unanimous commitment of the neighbors, of IGAD, of the foreign ministers I met with from Kenya, from Uganda, from Ethiopia, all of whom are committed and dedicated to helping to pull South Sudan back from this precipice and help to implement the cessation of hostilities agreement, and most importantly, help South Sudan to negotiate its way through this transition government that can restore the voice of the people in a way that can give confidence to the South Sudanese people, that their future is indeed being spoken for and that the best efforts are being made to meet it.

So with that, I’d be delighted to take any questions.

MS. PSAKI: The first question will be from Michael Gordon of The New York Times.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) you’ve described some of the political and military steps that you would like to see unfold – expect to see unfold in the next weeks. If neither side honors their commitments, how specifically do you plan to hold them accountable? And how long do you plan to wait before holding them accountable? There’s been some concern in the Congress and by groups like Oxfam that the United States has moved too slowly on this. And are you prepared to sanction the president and Riek Machar themselves?

And lastly, yesterday, you spoke publicly about your interest in deploying African troops to create a more robust peacekeeping force here. How many troops do you think should – will be deployed? When do you think this will happen? Will there be – will it be necessary to secure a new UN Security Council mandate to make this happen? Basically, how real is this? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, it’s real. Each of the countries I just listed are all committed. And I met yesterday with the foreign ministers who say they are absolutely prepared to move with troops from those countries almost immediately. But yes, we do need to secure an additional United Nations Security Council mandate. I believe that can be done quickly. I hope it can be done quickly. And it’s very, very important to begin to deploy those troops as rapidly as possible.

How rapidly? Hopefully within the next weeks, and we’re talking about an initial deployment of somewhere in the vicinity of 2,500 troops. Well, I think 5,500 have been talked about, and it may be that there are even – it may be that, depending on the situation, more may have to be contemplated. But for the moment, that’s the limit, that’s what’s being talked about.

With respect to the hopes on the – what was the first part? The —

QUESTION: How long do you plan to wait before (inaudible)?

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, okay. Let me just say – you asked about the – sort of what might follow if people don’t implement these steps. And the answer, very, very directly, is the global community will then make moves in order to have accountability. There is a commission of inquiry already underway. I met this morning with the head of the commission of inquiry and listened to former Nigerian President Obasanjo’s observations about his initial start of that effort. We support that effort; the global community supports that effort. That will obviously be ongoing.

I think the single best way for leaders and people in positions of responsibility to avoid the worst consequences is to take steps now, the kind of steps that we heard promised this morning. We are not going to wait. However, there will be accountability in the days ahead where it is appropriate. And the United States is doing its due diligence with respect to the power the President already has with respect to the implementation of sanctions, and I think that could come very quickly in certain quarters where there is accountability and responsibility that is clear and delineated.

MS. PSAKI: The next question will be from Memoska Lesoba from Eye Radio.

QUESTION: You said that President —

SECRETARY KERRY: Can you hold it up real close?

QUESTION: You said President Salva Kiir has agreed to transitional government. What kind of a transitional government? Can you delve more into that? And I would want to know what kind of sanctions would be imposed if (inaudible) way of (inaudible) resolve the crisis, and what impact will it have.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, with respect to the transition government, ultimately it is up to the people of South Sudan. And it is up to an inclusive process which brings the civil society to the table and reaches out to political opposition and to all of the different stakeholders in South Sudan to shape that. What is important is that President Kiir is prepared to engage in that process in a formal way, to reach out, to work with IGAD, to work with the community, in order to make certain that that process is real, it’s transparent, it’s accountable.

Now, how that unfolds will be part of the discussions that we hope will take place between Prime Minister Hailemariam as the mediator and two of the principle antagonists in this conflict, President Kiir representing government and Riek Machar. But there are other players, lots of them. As you know, 11 detainees have now been released. And each of those detainees has – have had voices and roles to play in the politics of South Sudan.

So it’s really up for the process itself to take shape as the stakeholders and as the people of South Sudan speak up and speak out and demand a certain kind of participation. What’s important is that that participation is promised and it is available.

With respect to sanctions, we are – there are different kinds of sanctions, obviously – sanctions on assets, sanctions on visas, sanctions on wealth and travel and so forth. All of those options are available, among others. But in addition to that, with the commission of inquiry and other standards that are applied. There have been atrocities committed and people need to be held accountable for those kinds of atrocities. And there are methods by which the international committee undertakes to do that. So I think the real test is what happens in these next days, what kind of bona fide legitimate steps are taken by people to prove they want to move in a different direction. And that will be a significant guide as to what may or may not be pursued by members of the international community in the days ahead.

MS. PSAKI: The next question will be from Lara Jakes of AP.

QUESTION: Thank you. Just to clarify, in this transitional government, do you see a place for either President Kiir or Riek Machar to be holding office in the future for this country? And then also, as you head to Congo tomorrow, what are you looking to hear regarding the prosecution of troops who were given amnesty and then returned to M23? And is the United States satisfied with the deep mobilization plan for all armed troops in eastern Congo, including Hutu troops – I’m sorry, groups? And then one last one. Could you comment on the new charges against Gerry Adams? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: I don’t have any comment on the charges issue. I’ve heard about it, I’m not familiar with all of the details of it. And he’s presented himself. He maintains his innocence. And we need to let the process in Northern Ireland work its way.

With respect to the Central African Republic – excuse me, the D.R.C. – we are hopeful that the terms that have been put in place, the Kampala Accords, are going to be implemented properly. But I’m going to wait to comment more fully on that until I meet up with Special Envoy Feingold, who will meet us there when we arrive there. And I think I would rather get the latest briefing up to date before I summarize it, because I may be outdated and I just would rather do that.

On the first part of your question —

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Whether or not they can be part of in the future – that’s not a decision for the United States of America to make or to comment on. That’s for South Sudanese to decide. It’s for the process to decide. I think that certainly people will judge carefully, I think, what happens in these next days, which could have a great deal to do with respect to future legitimacy of any player engaged in this, not just President Kiir or Riek Machar, but anybody who is engaged. If there is a legitimate, open, transparent, accountable, and real process by which people are listened to and people come together, then the people of South Sudan will have an opportunity to make that kind of decision and it won’t be necessary for us to comment on it.

If it doesn’t go in that direction, it may be that the United States and other interested parties who have helped so significantly to assist South Sudan in this journey to independence and nationhood, it may be that they will be then more inclined to speak out about what’s happened with leadership here or not, but at the moment I don’t think it’s appropriate to do that.

MS. PSAKI: The final question will be from Gabriel Shada from Radio Miraya.

QUESTION: Thank you. The background to the conflict in South Sudan refers to a disagreements, disgruntlements inside the SPLM ruling party on the modalities of election and selection of leaders. So reaching an agreement that does not resolve the SPLM leadership issues is like suspending the real issues, which means they will rise again in the nearest future. So how can the U.S. Administration help the SPLM sort out its problems.

Second question is about the U.S.A. promising a lot to help South Sudan in the past, and even now. But one of the promises was building the – an institutional capacity for South Sudan, and observers can see that institutional capacity in South Sudan is still very, very weak. What are the reasons for this failure, especially when building the capacity of the army and other institutions? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Very good questions. Very, very good questions. With respect to the first question, you’re absolutely correct: There are internal issues within the SPLM that need to be resolved. But it’s not up to the United States to resolve them. It’s up to the leaders and the members of the SPLM to do so, recognizing that their validity and credibility as a leading party to be the governing party of the country is at stake in how they do that.

And so it is – there’s already a process in place where they’re doing some meetings and evaluations, and will do that. What is important is that they recognize that the negotiations over a transitional government ultimately, in terms of what role they play or how that plays out, will depend to some measure on how they resolve those kinds of internal issues. And the credibility of the civil society, the credibility of the people of South Sudan, with respect to their leadership will depend, obviously, on their ability to do that.

So that’s part of the road ahead. And they know that work is in front of them. They understand that. They discussed it with us here today, and I’m confident that that’s very much in their minds as they think about the future structure of any kind of transition and future.

But it’s also related, I may say, to the second part of your question. Yes, the United States committed to do certain kinds of things, as did the international community. And for a certain period of time, many of those things were attempted to be done, but the truth is that there’s been a difficulty, as I think most people understand, in the governing process that gave people pause and made people stand back a little bit. And that’s been part of the problem. And that’s why this transitional government’s effort is so important, because it is the key to being able to open up the kind of direct help and input that would be then meaningful and not wasted and not lost. And it’s very important that there be a process in place where people have confidence that the way forward is clear and that assistance can be put to the use that it’s meant to be put to.

So I would say to you that that’s part of the reason why this transitioning effort is so critical, because it really is what can restore the legitimacy so that going forward all those people who care, and there are many who do – in Africa, in Europe, in America, elsewhere – would be able to hopefully help in the capacity building for the country. That’s really where all of South Sudan’s energy ought to be going, not into killing each other but into building a government that can serve the needs of the people. And our hope is that that is what can get restored out of this terrible conflict that has interrupted that path.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all. Appreciate it.

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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
FRIDAY, MAY 2, 2014

While World Press Freedom Day is celebrated tomorrow, May 3, 2014, Catholics will celebrate theirs on May 25, 2014. The Pope’s general Prayer intention for the month of May is “that the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace”.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

It is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

In his message for the 48th annual World Communications Day, Pope Francis challenges us to consider how the media can either create understanding and unity or divide people. He asks, “How can we be ‘neighbourly’ in our use of the communications media?”

His answer is: “We need to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. And this calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen.” Communication is not simply about talking but also listening and recognizing that, even if we disagree with the person speaking, he or she is our neighbour.

Pope Francis writes: “There is a danger that certain media condition our responses so much that we fail to see our real neighbour.” As an example of good communication, Pope Francis proposes the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

The disciples are closed in on themselves and their own ideas but Jesus listens and gently shares with them the truth about the messiah. Their hearts are set on fire by the truth and burn with love. Their dialogue with Jesus leads to a deeper encounter with him, when they recognize him in the breaking of the bread.

During the month of May, let us pray that the media may serve the truth and not manipulate people and promote half-truths or lies. May it help people to enter into dialogue with one another, so that the foundations for peace may be laid.

What Pope is expressing, that is, respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth should be the first duty of a journalist. As journalists we need to protect the privacy of individuals in a manner that secures the public interest.

This is all about what the code of conduct and practice of journalism should be. We need to write a fair, accurate and an unbiased story on matters of public interest. The code of conduct is helping us journalists to avoid misleading or distorted story.

When stories fall short on accuracy and fairness, they should not be published. Sometimes this happens because of bribe which has become a big problem of journalists not only in developing countries but also in developed nations.

This should not happen given that journalism is the fourth estate which protects and safeguards the democratic values in the society.

You find in many countries, Kenya included that after every press conference, the media will give the organizers of the meetings rough time until they part with the money. In other words, your story will not be reported unless you pay journalists money.

Journalists, while free to be partisan, should distinguish clearly in their reports between comment, conjecture and fact. In general, provocative and alarming headlines should be avoided, especially those containing allegations.

Even though letters to editor are expressing the opinions of the writers, an editor is not obliged to publish all the letters received in regard to that subject. Only some of them either in their entirety or the gist thereof should be published.

The editor has the discretion to decide at which point to end the debate in the event of a rejoinder upon rejoinder being sent by two or more parties on a controversial subject. Unnamed sources should not be used unless the pursuit of the truth will best be served by not naming the source who must known by the editor and reporter.

This is very important because in general, journalists have a professional obligation to protect confidential sources of information. That is why journalists should generally identify themselves and not obtain or seek to obtain information or pictures through misrepresentation or subterfuge.

In general, the media should avoid publishing obscene, vulgar, or offensive material unless such material contains a news value which is necessary in the public interest. In the same vein, publication of photographs showing mutilated bodies, bloody incidents, and abhorrent scenes should be avoided unless the publication of such photographs will serve the public interest.

This is specifically toTelevision stations which must exercise great care and responsibility when presenting programmes where children are likely to be part of the audience. Bringing pictures where men and women deeply kiss each other on the lips can be an embarrassment to parents who watch TV with their children.

Although most of these programmes are aired because they have been paid for, some of them are not morally upright. Think of an advertisement where, for example where condoms have been demonstrated how to use them, or sex positions, like what had been going on in one of Kenyan television stations.

This is a programme where a sex educator and therapists demonstrates several styles of having good sex. While such programmes can be extremely very important for couples, especially those who have difficulties in making love, they can be embarrassment to parents with their children.

Meanwhile, using someone else’s work without attribution – whether deliberately or thoughtlessly – is a serious ethical breach. However, borrowing ideas from elsewhere is considered fair journalistic practice.

Media should also avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person’s race, tribe, clan, religion, sex or sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or handicap. These details should be avoided unless they are crucial to the story.

Things concerning a person’s home, family, religion, tribe, health, sexuality, personal life and private affairs are covered by the concept of privacy except where these impinge upon the public.

The media should generally avoid identifying relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime unless the reference to them is necessary for the full, fair and accurate reporting of the crime or legal proceedings.

Finally, media should also avoid presenting acts of violence, armed robberies, banditry and terrorist activity in a manner that glorifies such anti-social conduct. Also, newspapers should not allow their columns to be used for writings which tend to encourage or glorify social evils, warlike activities, ethnic, racial and religious hostilities.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste


Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

A Kisumu based investigative freelance journalist last week carjacked robbed, robbed of mobile phones and money before being abandoned in a disused Murom quarry, which is located four kilometers outside the City’s outskirts.

Shem Kosse who is a regular contributor to the popular WEEKLY CITIZEN, while in the company of a friend who is a prominent businessman in the town had a very pleasant evening. They had taken few bottles of beers at the famous hotel’s restraint where they also enjoyed an evening meals of the delicious tilapia fish.

The two left Lakeview hotel at about 11 PM and drove to the Club Signature which is only one street away from the hotel. The Club, they found had no parking space for their car. They moved further to another street down and found a parking space at the nearby petrol station.

After securing the parking space, they parked their vehicle and walked on foot back to the Club Signature a short distance where they stayed until almost close to midnight.

Kosse and his companion left the Night Club at about 1.A.M and walked on foot back to the Petrol station where they had left their vehicle. Upon reaching their car, they found another vehicle parked too close to their. The second vehicle had four occupants who appeared to be chewing “Miraa” and relaxing. And because it was parked too close to their car, the two went to the other vehicle and kindly requested them to move their car backward to create a space for them to move out. The men obliged and reversed a few steps backward their vehicle. But hell broke out when Kosse and his friends tried to open the door of their vehicle. All of a sudden the four occupants of the second vehicle turned out to be criminal thugs. They swiftly whipped out pistils and ordered Kosse and his friend inside their own car at the back seat. The men produced ropes and tied Kosse and his friend on the vehicle”s back eats. Three of the thugs got into their own car leaving one who was heavily armed with two pistils who took the command of the steering wheel and drove of from the scene and through the town with the other car following closely.

At this point one of the thugs hit Kosse on the forehead with the gun bat. He was bleeding profusely from his facial wound, but the thugs did not bother. They were driven to Kanyakwar area near Miwani Junction road on the main Kisumu-Kakamega road. The thugs then branched off and drove into a disused quarry, which is located next to the stalled headquarters of the Lake Basin Development Authority { LBDA}.

The two captives were made to scrawl into the quarry walking on their knees. Inside the quarry the thugs produced more ropes from their heavy jackets and tied their hands from behind as well as their legs and abandoned them for a while, only to return a few minutes later and threatened to shoot them .At this juncture the four thugs stood on the edge of the quarry and pointed their guns down on the captives. The thugs then selected the ignition key of Kosse”s friends sleek car a brand new Rav-4. They threw down into the quarry the rest bunch of keys which hit Kosse’s friend hard on the chest.

The thugs then drove away on both cars, but only after ransacking the captives pockets and fleecing them of their money. Kosse lost Kshs 3900. While his friend lost Kshs 12,000 in hard cash.

It was now approaching 4AM in the morning the two struggled for hours before untying themselves using a sharp stone. From there Kosse and his friend walked by foot in the darkness up to Kondele suburb about 4 kilometers from where they took a boda boda motorbike which took them to Kisumu Central Police Station where they reported the incident. Of late there is a sharp increase of carjacking by heavily armed thugs, and on sharp increase incident the stolen vehicle are hardly retrieved or traced.


World press freedom index 2014

From: Yona Maro

The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies. Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway, like last year. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. Despite occasional turbulence in the past year, these countries continue to be news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them. This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies.


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BBC World TV’s Komla Dumor dies

From: Shedrack Kitimu

On Jan 19, 2014 6:51 PM, “Abdalah Hamis” wrote:

18 January 2014 Last updated at 16:13 ET

BBC World TV’s Komla Dumor dies

BBC TV presenter Komla Dumor has died suddenly at his home in London at the age of 41, it has been announced.

Ghana-born Dumor was a presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programme.

One of Ghana’s best-known journalists, he joined the BBC as a radio broadcaster in 2007 after a decade of journalism in Ghana.

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said on Twitter that his country had lost one of its finest ambassadors.

[ . . . ]

Read more at …


To: jaluo @ jaluo dot com

By Agwanda Saye

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) will seek to be enjoined in a suit challenging the controversial Kenya Information and Communication Amendment (KICA) Bill 2013.

The LSK Secretary/CEO Mr. Apollo Mboya said that the Society has instructed Senior Counsel Mr. James Orengo over the public interest matter.

“LSK has instructed Mr. Orengo to have it enjoined as an interested party in the suit scheduled to be filed by Senior Counsel Paul Muite challenging KICA Bill,” Mr. Mboya said.

Mr. Mboya said that LSK is seeking to be enjoined as an interested party for purposes of articulating the broader constitutional issues.

“Our concerns are on the freedom of expression and information with a view of safeguarding constitutional provisions on the same,” Mr. Mboya said.

Mr. Mboya said that one of the objects of the Society as provided in the LSK Act Cap 18 is to represent, protect and assist members of the legal profession in respect of conditions of practice and otherwise.

“The KICA Bill raises several constitutional questions…we have further analyzed the President’s Memorandum on the Bill and its implications on the Media Council Act 2013,” Mr. Mboya said.

The LSK Secretary/CEO said that even though President Uhuru Kenyatta forwarded a Memorandum on the Bill to Parliament, it did not adequately address the constitutional issues therein,” Mr. Mboya said.

According to the analysis, the complaints commission should be retained under the Media Council Bill as the sole body to regulate professional ethics of journalists.

The Multi-Media Appeals Tribunal undermines constitutional principles on free and independent media under the principle of self-regulation and co-regulation.

“The Media council of Kenya should also be allowed to set standards and continue enforcement of professional ethics in line with Article 34(5) of the Constitution,” Mr. Mboya said.


Why do Western media get Africa wrong?

From: Faiza Hassan

Does the Intelligence services of the west also get Africa wrong. Just curious.

– – – – – – – – – –

On Jan 6, 2014 3:44 PM, “Yona Maro” wrote:

Western media continue – and will continue – to get coverage of African issues wrong because of their inability to confront this unspoken hierarchy of knowledge and the barriers it generates. Firstly, in this scheme, The Rest is necessarily set up in opposition to The West in resulting coverage, and issues or situations are rarely, if ever, analysed for their intrinsic impact or worth. Events or situations are therefore analysed as what the West is not, and so articles are a process of either reifying or undermining pre-existing assumptions that are either set up in history books or in other literature about Africa in general or the phenomenon at hand. So the coverage of the crisis in South Sudan is either used to reiterate or undermine beliefs about ethnicity and its role in conflicts in Africa: where “ethnicity” is a trope that can easily distinguish “Africa” from The West but is now a shorthand so overused and misused that it’s lost its explanatory value.

Secondly, one must recall that any reading of a polyglot nation using a colonial language is necessarily an act of interpretation, and Western coverage of African situation is always going to suffer from this process. Sending people who speak only English or even Swahili to find people who also speak English or Swahili is always going to create a selection bias, and necessitates a process of translation within which the nuance of coded, non-verbal communication will be lost.

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By Our Reporter

Kisumu based Magistrate Phylis Lusia Shinyada who set free four men who violently robbed a Kisumu based journalist has been sacked and found unsuitable to be a judicial officer by the Sharad Rao led Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board .

Shinyada had in late 2012 freed the four men ostensibly due to what she said was luck of evidence despite crucial exhibits having been brought to court by the Police.

While releasing its ninth announcement on determination on suitability of Magistrates and Judges the board also found the following Judges unsuitable to be judicial officers; Anne IreriRuguru, Douglas Musa Machage, Gilbert Kimutai Too,George Rachemi Sagero,Joseph Riitho Nduruni, Kinaro Dennis Abraham, Ruth Benta Maloba and Timothy Ole Tanchu .

In regard to Hon Shinyada the board made the following recommendations after having received four complaints against the Magistrate;

. In Complaint one, the complainant alleged that in Kisumu CMCCR. No. 393 of 2012: the magistrate did not take down accurate proceedings, and was bribed. He claimed that the magistrate omitted part of his testimony from her court record. The complainant, who appeared and testified, stated before the Board that the magistrate was on her phone all the time intermittently recording his evidence and paying little or no attention to his testimony. The complainant further averred that he believed the bribe was paid because the accused’s parent indicated their intention to bribe the magistrate if the out of court settlement failed.

In her response the magistrate vehemently denied ever receiving a bribe in the matter or ever in her practice. The Board was not convinced that the magistrate kept a proper court record. The Board also wondered why she was quick to find that no prima facie case had been established through argumentative reasoning in her ruling that went

against the known principles enunciated in Bhatt vs Republic36. The magistrate after a discussion of the issues admitted that she may have acted hurriedly. She attributes it to lack of experience and mentorship. She stated that there is no training or guidance given to junior magistrates on joining the bench. She states she was not bribed and that her action were very honest and above board.

36Ramanlal Trambaklal Bhatt versus Republic [1957] E.A. 332 it was stated thus:-“Remembering that the legal onus is always on the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, we cannot agree that a prima facie case is made out if, at the close of the prosecution; the case is merely one which on full consideration might possibly be thought sufficient to sustain a conviction.”

The Board finds that the bribery claim remains unproven. After a lengthy discussion the magistrate appreciated that it would have been prudent to put the defendants on their defence.

The second complaint was that in Kisii CMCC No. 88 of 2007 and No. 67 of 2009, the magistrate issued orders releasing the complainant’s motor vehicle to the plaintiff contrary to the orders issued by the High Court in Kisii. In her response the Magistrate stated that the case before her was not the High Court Case and that she had no intention of undermining the High Court’s findings on the same issue in a separate case. The Magistrate indicated that she took over the matter at the execution stage. It is clear that she never concerned herself with the decision of the High Court thereby making a contrary decision one year down the line. The Magistrate regretted her action. The Board finds that the Magistrate failed to exercise sufficient diligence in the matter.

The third complaint was that in Kisii CMCCR. No. 799 of 2011, the Magistrate threatened the accused with civil jail if he continued requesting to cross examine the witness. That the Magistrate was hostile to the complainant’s wife when she appeared before her to inform the court that her husband who was the accused was not feeling well. That the Magistrate further denied the accused the chance to cross examine the witnesses and refused to recuse herself. That she further rejected the probation report issued to her and ordered the probation officer to amend it to her desires.

The Magistrate’s response to the complaint was well explained. The complainant was unable to substantiate the issues and therefore the claim remained conjuncture and unproven. It was clear however that the Magistrate failed on her part to explain to the

Accused person his right to recall witnesses who had testified, when she took over the matter37. The Magistrate was well aware of this right but failed to ensure the accused enjoyed it. The Board felt that the conduct of the Magistrate on this specific matter painted a bad picture of the judiciary to the public. The Magistrate acknowledged the oversight and was remorseful for the same.

In complaint number four the complainant alleged that in Kisii CMCC No. 730 ‘A’ of 2009, the Magistrate adopted an incompetent surveyor’s report to determine a land matter and disallowed the complainant’s application for review on grounds that the complainant had filed an appeal despite having knowledge that the said appeal had been withdrawn.

In her response, the Magistrate was unable to substantiate why she never heard the review application despite the withdrawal of the appeal having been brought to her knowledge. The magistrate failed to quote authorities she relied on in her ruling. The Board felt that it was the duty of the Magistrate to ascertain that expert witnesses appearing before her are competent. Her failure so to do in this matter resulted in her recording evidence from an imposter surveyor. The Board concluded that the magistrate greatly relied on technicalities when writing her judgment in the matter. This was a deliberate infringement of the accused’s rights contrary to the provisions of the Kenyan constitution.

Complaint number five was from by a Law Firm who alleged that in Kisii CMCC No. 62 of 2010, the magistrate made an ex-parte order on an application which was already spent. That she declined the complainant’s application to summon the agricultural officer. She further proceeded with the matter ex parte and without ascertaining whether the mention notice was properly served thus denying the advocates the opportunity to peruse the agricultural officer’s report and or to cross examine the officer and proceeded to deliver the ruling on the matter ex parte.

Although the Magistrate denied all the allegations, it came out clearly that the Magistrate failed in several respects. The Board noted that the matter actually proceeded severally

without the defendants, and no notation is made on the Court record on whether the defendants had been served or not. On one occasion the defendant appeared ex parte and had interim orders that had lapsed extended. The Board felt that this conduct was inconsistent with judicial requirements of impartiality and fairness. The record indicates that the Magistrate greatly compromised the defendant’s rights to a fair hearing. The Magistrate explains that it was not intentional and regrets the same. The Magistrates conduct in this matter was quite despicable.

The Board felt that although the Magistrate’s language and writing skills in her judgments were commendable, she constantly failed to quote the law and decided cases in her judgments and rulings. Her judgments lacked good legal reasoning and displayed a poor analysis of the issues. She cited lack of proper induction, mentoring and training as the cause of her errors. The magistrate states that this is the first time in her career of about five years that anyone is pointing out her mistakes to her, and that she is very grateful to the vetting process, as it is also a learning curve. The Magistrate admitted that regular intervals of training and assessments would greatly improve their delivery. The Board unanimously determines that the Honorable Phylis Lusiah Shinyada is NOT SUITABLE to continue serving as a Magistrate.



May take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt profound condolence to the family and friends of the late Nyeri fierce politician Waruru KANJA.

I Knew the late Waruru Kanja way back in 1957 when he led a group of hard-core Mau Mau detainees on Mageta Island, Bondo district, now Siaya County, who were involved in jailbreak after killing the European prison commander who was in charge of the camp.

After killing the prison boss, the group escaped MAGETA Island using a makeshift raft and swam across the Nyanza Gulf {formerly Kavirondo Gulf and landed at Ulugi, near Lihanda beach on Rusinga Island in what was then known as South Nyanza distric after swimming for more that 14 hours.

The fugitives were given shelter by the LUO Elders who gave the them accomodation and food inside hideout houses, but only after separating them in four groups. The colonial police launched an elaborate search for the jail breakers both aerially using the police air-wing and motor-boats. The search also went on into the villagers on the mainland locations of Yimbo, Sakwa and Uyoma.

The colonial authorities used motor-boats and even sent their agents to the twin fishing islands of Rusinga, but all in vain, Warurur Kanja and his friends had been issued with new clothes and were living safely in the villages.

I met the late ex-Mau Mau detainee in the 1980s while he was serving in the cabinet as a Minister and Nyeri Town MP in Parliament Building over a cup of tea, and I found his memory to be very fresh. He could easily recognize me, though many years had lapsed because in 1957 I was a young man of 18 of age. Mzee Kanja was a true nationalist and freedom fighter apart from being detribalized person and humanist

May Almighty God give his soul eternal peace.

veteran journalist-cum-Author


From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee coalition government have made up their minds that his memorandum on the media Bill remains, whether journalists drawn from all media houses hit the streets to oppose it.

David Ohito, the vice-chairman Editor’s Guild and a long time friend of mine says they are going on the street because they were not satisfied by the move to place the memorandum before the Parliament for debate and adoption without involving all stakeholders, sighting mischief by the Government.

Journalists are wondering how can individual journalist pay Sh500,000 and the media houses part with Sh20 million. Threat by media to move to court to challenge the constitutionality of the Bill is not going to help much either.

Ohito says they will present their own memorandum before the Parliament during the protest. But even so, this won’t help either since the speaker of the national assembly is jubilee slot and in many occasions has been seen siding with Jubilees’ agenda, particularly removing Kenya from Rome Statute to save Uhuru and his deputy Ruto from attending the cases against them.

Ohito is also challenging Uhuru to take personal responsibility about the whole issue and allow for media freedom. No matter how much Uhuru would be willing to do so, his hands are tied since he cannot act independently from his Jubilee mandate.

Uhuru cannot take personal responsibility that is why his effort to defend Land, Urban Development and Housing Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has been challenged. Jubilee coalition members are plotting to get rid of her.

Some of the things Jubilee government would not like media to report is current silent rebellion against Deputy President William Ruto, which is slowly building up in the Rift Valley with some MPs being critical of what they say is Ruto’s soft stance on matters of national importance.

TNA particularly would not like to see media reporting that URP MPs are especially irked that Ruto has remained complacent even as plum state jobs are being distributed to one half of the Jubilee government.

The disharmony is not only limited to MPs but some of Ruto’s close associates have expressed their concerns that his erstwhile political protégé, Joshua Kutuny was appointed as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political advisor without any consultation or notice and now being used by TNA pro Uhuru instead of Nancy and Mutahi Ngunyi.

The recent statement by Kutuny and which did not please URP legislators is when he was used to issue statement that no one coached ICC witnesses to fix Ruto. This has not gone very well with URP members.

Kuttuny robustly defended uhur against these allegations and urged the leaders to desist from making statements on the ongoing ICC cases at the International Criminal Court.

Politicians don’t work like professionals. That is also why Attorney General, Githu Muigai and the Cabinet Sectary for Communication, Fred Matiangi have been left out in darkness about the clauses in the memorandum.

The same fear of media also emerged during the Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta when he fell out with his political ally, Tom Mboya in 1960s. Media was seen as a threat to Kenyatta’s government when Kenyatta and Mboya rivalry led to the formation of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu).

Cotu was mooted by the Kenyatta administration ostensibly to neutralise Mboya’s influence in the country’s trade union movement. Trouble started in 1962 when Mboya threatened to leave Kanu.

Kenyatta feared that if Mboya used the Kenya Federation of Labour as a party, an economic strategy, which favoured capital rather than labour, would give his critics further ammunition to fight his government.

The same thing happened after Jaramogi Odinga Odinga formed an opposition party, Kenya Peoples Union (KPU). Radical trade union leaders, who supported Odinga were suspended from Cotu. Media was not allowed to report this.

Moi was even particular. He banned some sections of media several times when it emerged that they reported his brutal action of detentions and political trials, torture, arbitrary arrests and police brutality.

Moi always perceived human rights generally as alien and Euro centric conceptions inconsistent with African values and culture. That is why he always tried to ban civil organizations.

Journalists who reported things against his government were taken to Nyayo torture chamber. Moi’s actions were meant to silence journalists and the intelligent, perceived to be critical of his authoritarian rule.

In 1986 alone, 100 people were arrested and detained for their alleged association with Mwakenya, the movement started by some Kenyans in Europe who had fled Moi’s oppression regime.

Politicians who were vocal were ruthlessly killed. Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Robert Ouko, was assassinated in February 1990. Clergymen, lawyers, and other pro-democracy and human rights advocates were persistently arrested and harassed, or even killed.

In the build-up to the 1992 to 1997 elections were met with police beatings. Any journalist who reported this incident was put into task. Opposition members who refused to vote KANU and Moi had their houses burnt, property looted or killed.

Judges who made rulings in favor of human rights victims exposed themselves to punitive transfers or sacked.

Mwaki Kibaki’s regime was not different either- He tough with media when they reported that campaigners and critics condemned the reappointment of retired Justice Aaron Ringera as anti-corruption director.

Kibaki’s regime reappointed Ringera because he was cheap to be tamed. Campaigners were against his appointment because he failed to fight corruption, not to realize that this was the type of person Kibaki government wanted.

The same Ringera has been appointed by President Uhuru to lead the team which is to probe the activities of JSC. This is despite the fact that Ringera is not fit to head the team of tribunal since at one point when he applied to be a judge of the Supreme Court he was not short listed.

Ringera was appointed chair of the tribunal whose other members are Jeniffer Shamalla, my friend Ambrose Weda and Mutua Kilaka. Apart from Weda, the LSK chairman Erick Mutua explained that Shamalla had also come out in the media directly critisising the JSC.

At one point, Jennifer Shamalla has not only come out on national TV to say that the JSC does not know what it is doing but also criticized the honorable Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga.

At the end of 2005 President Kibaki appointed him director when he had failed to respond to the Anglo-Leasing dossier as the public demanded. Ringera was set for cover-up. He never released the copy to John Githongo who was then the Secretary to Ethics and Corruption.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.

-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
UN Disarmament
Conference, 2002


To: jaluo

By Agwanda Saye

Regional lawyers will meet over the sweeping wave of oppressive media laws in East Africa.
The East Africa Law Society (EALS) President Mr. James Aggrey Mwamu said that Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Somalia have adopted a pattern of media suppression.

“Governments in the region are jointly suppressing democratic freedoms by using unconstitutional laws to gag journalists the media,” Mr. Mwamu said.

Mr. Mwamu said that media freedom will be among the core subjects to be discussed in depth at the EALS Annual Conference set for November 15th and 16th at The Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa.

The Conference will bring together practicing lawyers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The theme is Raising the Bar: The Changing Environment for the Legal Profession in East Africa.

“We are dismayed that the Kenyan Parliament last week passed into law Acts which suppress freedom of information under Article 35 of the Constitution,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President regretted that intolerance to media freedom has also intensified in Tanzania with the recent suspension of two newspapers for alleged violation of stringent media laws.

“The Ministry of Information stopped the publication of Mwananchi newspaper and Mtanzania, alleging violation of secrecy and sedition laws,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President also recalled how The Daily Monitor newspaper was raided and shut down for 10 days in May after allegedly publishing a politically sensitive story in Uganda.

“The Daily Monitor was allowed to reopen on the promise that it would not publish material that might disturb law and order or generate tensions,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President also regretted that journalists are also reportedly being harassed and intimidated in Uganda when covering political stories like arrests of Mr. Kizza Besigye.

“There are also concerns on violent deaths of journalists, such as that of Thomas Pere in June,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President said that Burundi President Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza is about to sign into law a media Bill recently passed by the Burundi National Assembly in April.

“The Burundi Senate passed a draft media law despite opposition from journalists and the international community,” Mr. Mwamu said.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the new law would interfere with media independence by forcing journalists to disclose sources and imposing minimum requirements for journalists’ education and experience.

Under the proposed bill, journalists will be required to have at least two years of professional experience in addition to a university-level degree.

Additionally, the media will be banned from covering “sensitive” issues including public security, national defense, and the economy.

The new law repeals many of the provisions for jail terms imposed on violators under the 2003 law, but violations still carry penalties such as steep fines that HRW said most Burundian media outlets would not be able to afford.

Government and the Media – Friends or Adversaries?

From: Yona Maro

The media should have a crucial role to play in engaging the public with the aims and achievements of open government. However, there is ignorance of the OGP among mainstream media around the world – including in member countries. This is coupled with considerable scepticism about motives and the depth of government commitments to greater transparency. Can the media be partners in the aims of Open Government? Or are media and governments fixed in their roles as adversaries? This panel debate will explore the roles and perspectives of different media towards open government.


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Kenya: Police target media over Westgate reportage

From: Judy Miriga

Good People!!!

Freedom of speech, association and communication is under siege against the public mandate referendum Reform Change Accord how they wish to be Governed. It looks like special interest corrupt politicians want to silence people from demanding for their rights…………..and this is against not what the people demanded at the Referendum. This behavior is contravening the freedom and suppressing transparency and accountability from public servants who have failed to do their work according to their oath of office…………to protect, deliver and safeguard the core value of how people want their Government facility to operate and deliver services to people with fundamentals that the Security must restructure and overhaul to bring on board Responsible Leaders with integrity to avoid what happened in 2007/8 election gone bad and where massacre, genocide and atrocities committed were masterminded by suspects of those inscribed in the police force to do the unthinkable…….in the event, peoples security was compromised; which was top of the agenda for Reform was Administering Police overhaul urgently, which has not happened to-date.

People want complete healing not a bandage to cushion a chronic sore on peoples governance with just rule of law. Negative comments from senior police and political leadership is causing disharmony in the minds of people and people must demand for apology for such inflammatory injustices meant to shut people from engaging in their own business of good governance……………this behavior is unacceptable……..

All People must go firmly in solidarity with Mohamed Ali and John Allan to protest and demand what is called jeopardy of public insecurity and safety and demand for Media freedom, good governance with just rule of law including holding Kimaiyo responsible and force him to step down for further investigation for Wastgate attack with relation to connection of Al-shabaab in Uganda.

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

– – – – – – – – – – –

Police target media over Westgate reportage

In a bizarre twist, government has now trained its guns on the media coverage of the Westgate terror attack with Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo saying KTN journalists John Allan Namu and Mohamed Ali will be arrested for incitement and spreading propaganda.

Published on Oct 23, 2013
In a bizarre twist, government has now trained its guns on the media coverage of the Westgate terror attack with Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo saying KTN journalists John Allan Namu and Mohamed Ali will be arrested for incitement and spreading propaganda. But as NTV’s Andrew Ochieng reports, Kimaiyo may have jumped the gun, as regulations require him to direct complaints to the Media Council Of Kenya.

Police Inspector General asked to channel grievances through Media Council

Published on Oct 25, 2013
The Media Council of Kenya has asked police inspector general David Kimaiyo to channel any grievances he harbors against any media practitioner or media house through the council. The council says the police Inspector General was wrong to summon KTN journalists over the Westgate attack without following due process.
For more news visit

Baragoi residents living in makeshift camps out of fear

Published on Oct 25, 2013
A large number of Baragoi residents are living in makeshift tents following recent attacks in the area. Cattle rustling has become the plague of Baragoi. For long Baragoi residents have had to endure criminal activities linked to cattle rustling that has led to the lose of lives and displacement.
For more news visit


From: OS
To: “”
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 7:24 AM


This is intimidation that the journalists should not cower to.


On Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:20 PM, Jagem K’Onyiego wrote:


We do not agree on many things, but on this one I agree with you. Since Stage managed attack and rescue, at westgate, Kimaiyo has been looking like someone with no clue at all on what goes on in Kenya. I am surprised that he is coming out now issuing threats to reporters. I think he has been told by Kamwana to silence the press. Hakuna kitu ingine.


From: Maurice Oduor
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:16 AM

Welcome to Kenya Abdi. That is Kenyans for you. Akina Asman Kamara will insist on denying what everyone can see on video from the CCTV. They will insist on denying it until the issue dies off. That is how Kenyans behave in nature. It’s one of the things I really hate about our people. One may know the truth about a situation but because he/she has decided to support one side, he/she will defend that side to the death even if it is the offending side.

In Luo we say, “Jo Kenya richo” (Kenyans are bad).


From: Mburi Eric
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:06 AM


And I wonder why Kimaiyo thinks he is law unto himself and can not be subjected to the law per-Se

Nyakwar Mburi

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 01:57:33 -0700
From: lailatuatiende@ . . .

Mohamed /Mburi,

I concur with both of you on this one. KIMAIYO should show some transparency to Kenyans. By demanding the arrest of the Jicho Pevu team lacks lucidity.

From: Mburi Eric
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:08 AM

Its actually Kimaiyo who should be arrested

Nyakwar Mburi

On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 2:33 AM, Mohamedweli Abdi wrote:

Inspector General wants Jicho pevu team Mohamed Ali and John Allen Namu be arrested.

Is this for diversion of attention from the incompetence of our security agencies and terrorist attack, or this two guys are threat to our national security.

Please Mr IG, all they did is do their kob unlike you and your team. Your boys let you down looting Kenyans in their worst hours.

Arrest the real looters and the terrorist not Ali and Namu.

Shame on you.


Outrage as Police summon Standard boss, KTN reporters over Westgate
October 25
by In2EastAfrica Reporter
In what could be the first assault on media freedom under the Jubilee government, police have targeted the Standard Group over a report aired on television station KTN.

Hooded gunmen raided Westgate Mall last month, killing 67 people and wounding several others according to official reports

Police are seeking the Groups Chief Executive Sam Shollei and two KTN journalists, Mohammed Ali and John-Allan Namu, over the investigative report on the Westgate Mall terrorist attack.

Police delivered summons to the Standard Group Centre on Mombasa Road on Thursday, requiring the three to present themselves to Kilimani Police Stationon Friday.

Head of Kilimani CID George Ojuka said police had wanted the three to appear before them on Thursday but were informed that Mr Shollei was out of town.

Police summons signed by Mr Ojuka addressed to Mr Shollei and copied to the two journalists compel the trio to report to him this morning to answer to charges of ‘unlawful sending of misleading messages’.

The misleading messages apparently refer to an investigative series run on KTN titled ‘Zilizala la Westgate’ and ‘Wolves at Westgate’.

Ojuka alleges that the series, which offered insights into events at the mall after the Al-Shabaab gunmen struck, was not factual. The journalists relied on CCTV footage that captured events inside the mall during the siege and which had been widely broadcast both locally and internationally.

“I do require you Sham (sic) Shollei to attend before me George Ojuka, the DCIO Kilimani at Kilimani CID offices situated at Kilimani Police Division, Nairobi, on Friday the 25th day of October at 0900 hours,” read the summons.


The officer warns that, ‘failure to comply with this requisition comprises an offence.’

The investigative series raised questions about official accounts of events during the Westgate siege. The footage at one point showed the four gunmen looking relaxed in a section of the mall before one moves the CCTV cameras. Questions were raised about whether they slipped out of the mall unnoticed. More contentious footage shows soldiers carrying white plastic bags. Authorities have explained that the soldiers had taken bottles of water to quench their thirst. Questions were also raised about the cause of the extensive damage to the building after three floors collapsed.

Police said they have launched investigations into the source of the Westgate Mall footage that showed soldiers carrying items from Nakumatt Supermarket.

Nakumatt boss Atul Shah was summoned by police investigating the incident on Tuesday, and appeared before detectives at the Kilimani CID offices for about an hour.

Yesterday’s police action against the Standard Group came a day after Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo threatened the two journalists with arrest.

It also comes just a week after High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi ruled as illegal the State-sponsored 2006 raid on the media groupâs offices and awarded it Sh5 million as compensation.


In the raid, hooded gunmen set upon staff, switched KTN off, carted away equipment and burnt copies of The Standard newspaper that was rolling off the press at its Likoni Road premises.

The Internal Security minister at the time, John Michuki (since deceased), alleged that the media house was about to disseminate information that would have undermined ânational securityâ.

On Wednesday, Kimaiyo seemed to be reading from the same script claiming that the journalists were not patriotic in the manner in which they covered the Westgate issue, and accused them of incitement and propaganda. On Thursday, the Standard Group legal team sought confirmation from the police chief about the identities of individuals who had sent text messages summoning the two for interrogation.

The Groupâs lawyers protested the action noting that, âsummons by text messages is not one of the methods contemplated under the law.â

The action by the police sparked outrage from rights groups, including a state rights watchdog, media practitioners and political leaders, who condemned the harassment of journalists and termed it a breach of media freedom.

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK), the industryâs regulatory authority, said it was aggrieved byKimaiyo’s threats of arrest and prosecution, saying there were proper channels to address grievances by any party regarding journalistic work.

Harun Mwangi, the chief executive of MCK, said during and after the Westgate attack, the media did an excellent job of informing the country about the national tragedy.

“The journalists have not committed any criminal offences; Kimaiyo’s complaints border on the impact that the coverage generated,” said Mwangi. “We would expect him to present his complaint to the council if he needs any recourse, but we cannot entertain intimidation and curtailing of media freedoms.”

Tom Rhodes, the regional co-ordinator of the Committee for Protection of Journalists, said Kimaiyo and the state are trying to prevent the media from reporting on issues that affect everyone, such as security.

“We find it absolutely ridiculous that the journalists would be investigated. Why doesn’t the report focus on probing the attack rather than the messengers?” Rhodes posed.

He added that the country would be far worse without an independent media.

Media practitioners are protected by law under Article 34, which prohibits the state from âcontrolling or interfering with, exercising control over or interfering with any person engaged in broadcasting, the production or circulation of any publication or the dissemination of information by any medium.



MATHIU: Why Kimaiyo left Kenyans baffled over his threat to arrest journalists
Thursday, October 24, 2013

In Summary
Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo has hoisted himself into a similar position and he seems to leak public goodwill every time he offers his views in the media.

Specifically, Mr Kimaiyo warned that he was going to arrest two journalists for “provoking propaganda”, whatever the hell that is, and inciting the people against the authorities.

All that nonsense about matresses and carrying of water in Nakumatt bags has convinced no one. The mall was systematically looted. Instead of confronting the indiscipline in our forces, the authorities have chosen to beat up on reporters. This is beyond belief.

By Mutuma Mathiu

There was a time my brother, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi was often in the news for all the wrong, controversial reasons. Wags characterised him, poor man, as a politician who lost votes every time he opened his mouth.

Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo has hoisted himself into a similar position and he seems to leak public goodwill every time he offers his views in the media.

I remember watching a catastrophic interview on NTV and thinking “Dear Lord, why did they let this one out?” For Mr Kimaiyo, bless him, is not the most eloquent of men.

But it is his press conference on Wednesday which really exposed him as a man who, though he has spent some time around universities, has not modernised his views about society and rights. He also has a 1990s concept of the power of government.

Specifically, Mr Kimaiyo warned that he was going to arrest two journalists for “provoking propaganda”, whatever the hell that is, and inciting the people against the authorities.

When governments are new in office, they will always do that kind of nonsense. In 2003, the CID arrested the entire leadership of The Standard. I was also invited by the director of CID at the time “for a cup of tea” at his office which I declined and was off radar for a while.

Many attempts have been made to write laws that would allow the government to control the Kenyan press, one of the freest in the Third World. Politicians, because they are mainly self-absorbed and thick, always think the country would be better off with a muzzled press.


So let me tell it to you: the government does not own the freedoms of the people. They are not its property to give. Our right to a free press is not a gift from the President, the Inspector-General of Police, Parliament or indeed any other person or organ.

They belong to the people and can only be limited when there is manifest general good to be achieved by so doing.

Also, I don’t think it is going to be possible for anyone to roll back the gains we have made so far and for banana-republic theories of some bureaucrat to have sway in the media. It’s just not going to happen.

Now, going back to the arrest threat. Kenyans know that something went terribly with the rescue mission. They know that the calling in of the military was either premature or ill-advised and that had the SWAT team been allowed more time, they would have rescued everyone, including the VIPs in there, contained the terrorists, and preserved the scene of crime.

Secondly, they already believe that the military behaved in a most disgraceful fashion, looting and feasting as the nation grieved.

Thirdly, they are royally pissed off at being lied to by the military and Internal Security Cabinet secretary, the hapless Mr Joseph ole Lenku.

All that nonsense about matresses and carrying of water in Nakumatt bags has convinced no one. The mall was systematically looted. Instead of confronting the indiscipline in our forces, the authorities have chosen to beat up on reporters. This is beyond belief.

Finally, through no fault of his own, Kenyans believe Mr Kimaiyo was not in charge of the rescue operation. He couldn’t have been: it was a military operation and the military does not take orders from the police.

Mr Kimaiyo is not employed to break the law, although the Kenya police are some of the leading law breakers. He is employed to enforce it, including the laws protecting the freedoms of Kenyans. If he tries to do anything contrary, he will lose, if he already hasn’t.
* * *

I want to wish the best of luck to all those candidates who are sitting their exams this season. I know my views about education and managing behaviour are boring; they are copied from my headmaster, the late Stanley Ndeke.

Mr Ndeke believed in science. You needed his express permission to take the arts. He used to say that good, well-behaved boys don’t walk, they run. So I spent part of my childhood running everywhere.

From him I learnt the value of hard work and discipline, the importance of intellectual rigour and discipline and the centrality of learning to human progress.

So yes, all that reading is a pain but you and the world probably couldn’t exist without it. Good luck.


Westgate: Kimaiyo now threatens journalists
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
In Summary
He accused the journalists of “provoking propaganda” and inciting Kenyans against the authorities with investigative stories which exposed command confusion during the operation which saw at least one police officer shot and killed by the Kenya Defence Forces.


Police boss David Kimaiyo on Wednesday announced that journalists will be arrested and prosecuted over their coverage of the Westgate rescue operation.

He accused the journalists of “provoking propaganda” and inciting Kenyans against the authorities with investigative stories which exposed command confusion during the operation which saw at least one police officer shot and killed by the Kenya Defence Forces.

Journalists, both local and international, have also reported the apparent looting of the shopping mall by the KDF. The military however told Parliament that the soldiers were carrying water in the shopping bags and not looted goods. (VIDEO: Military: KDF soldiers carried water from Westgate)

The Inspector-General’s announcement is the latest in a sustained assault on press freedom in Kenya in recent months, which has seen the tabling in Parliament of bills giving government control over media operations.

Mr Kimaiyo said investigative journalists from KTN are among those to be arrested.

He appeared to take umbrage at the insinuation that he was relieved of command during the operation against terrorists who massacred nearly 70 shoppers at the mall located in Westlands.

At the time, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that Mr Kimaiyo remained in charge of the operation.

However, from around 5pm on Saturday September 21 until the end of the siege four days later, the operation was controlled by the military. KDF does not take orders from the police.

Mr Kimaiyo’s decision to muzzle the press flies in the face of the constitution which prohibits the government from interfering with the media.

Mr Kimaiyo has not filed a complaint with the Media Council of Kenya, the normal procedure for dealing with cases where journalists are involved in unethical conduct.

At the press conference on Wednesday, Mr Kimaiyo said the journalists had “overstepped” press freedom apparently by reporting the command chaos and looting during the operation.

“You cannot provoke propaganda and incite Kenyans against the authorities. The two journalists will be apprehended,” explained Mr Kimaiyo.

In Parliament, Majority Leader Aden Duale has published a Bill which gives the cabinet secretary for communication immense powers over the Media Council, which regulates the media.

The cabinet secretary has, among others powers, the right to dissolve the current Media Council and then constitute the selection panel that will interview and nominate members to form part of the new council.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Mr Kimaiyo denied that British terrorist Samantha Lewthwaite was involved in the Westgate attack.

Ms Lewthwaite is a high ranking and dangerous member of al Shabaab who has explicably been allowed to live and move freely in Kenya until relatively recently.

In one egregious act of police incompetence, officers bizarrely did not take Ms Lewthwaite into custody even though they found her with stacks of foreign currency and forged papers.

Mr Kimaiyo said yesterday that eight of what he claimed to be chief suspects will be charged.

Police arrested more than 100 suspects after the attack, almost all of whom were innocent.

He said detectives were looking for more suspects who may have played smaller roles in the attack.

But even as he made the announcements, it was still not clear how many terrorists took part in the attack and what eventually happened to them.

There have been claims that some were killed, but no bodies were ever produced. The government said there were between 10 and 15 attackers. CCTV footage showed only four.

There are suspicions that four bodies recently found in the ruins of the mall were terrorists, but that is still to be proved.

Explaining the command chaos in the operation, Mr Kimaiyo claimed that he was consulted about the rescue mission.

“It was a joint effort, and we clearly agreed on how to conduct it,” Mr Kimaiyo claimed.

Turning his guns on the media, the Inspector-General said: “We know very well that every person or organisation has the right to freedom of expression, but this freedom does not extend to advocacy of hatred or propaganda. Again, in the exercise of such rights, people should respect the reputation and rights of others.”

Mr Kimaiyo has had a slow start on the job, characterised by widely publicised fights with Police Service Commission boss Johnston Kavuludi.

Mr Kavuludi was involved in a dramatic incident earlier in the year when a human head was delivered to his office.


from: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

Chris from Nairobi writes: “Fr. I think Pope Francis has taken the right direction as far as the reception of Holy Communion is concerned by opting to allow the divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

My wonder is that there are some priests who stop their faithful from receiving Holy Communion on merely their personal differences. Is such an act justifiable according to the church’s law?”

Juliet from Nairobi would also like to know why the Inspector General of the police David Kimaiyo wants to arrest KTN Jicho Pevu presenter Mohamed Ali and Inside Story John-Allan Namu of incitement and propaganda when they were just reporting how Kenya Army looted Westgate Mall instead of protecting the people and their property.

Chris there were no way the conservative cardinals working with the pope could allow this happen. On October 22, 2013 Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, strongly reaffirmed Catholic Church teaching forbidding divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving Holy Communion.

In a length essay published on the Vatican newspaper’s website in five languages, Archbishop Gerhard Muller was categorical that Pope Francis has no intention at all to change this dogma.

This is despite the comments from Pope Francis on his return trip from Rio’s World Youth Day regarding divorced and remarried Catholics that a change in the Church’s long-standing tradition on the matter was coming. That perception was strengthened with the announcement of an upcoming synod on families for next October.

Juliet this is not the first time Mohamed Ali and John -Allan Namu have been threatened. They have received death threats over George Saitoti death exposé that aired on the station some weeks ago.

The Standard Group management expressed concern over the threats that appeared aimed at intimidating its journalists. Group Chief Executive Sam Shollei said the Group supports Press freedom and will not allow its journalists to be intimidated in the course of their duties.

The exclusive stories dubbed Ghururi ya Saitoti and Death in Ten Minutes by Ali and Namu respectively showed that there could have been foul play in the death of then Internal Security minister George Saitoti.

Mr Shollei said Standard Group will stand by its journalists, and will remain steadfast in discharging its duties as a media house, without fear or favour.

The two journalists looked into the circumstances that led to the death of Prof. Saitoti, his assistant Orwa Ojode, their bodyguards and two pilots. The pair tried to prove that Saitoti’s ‘accident’ was an indeed an assassination.

Mohammed Ali was to be killed along Waiyaki Way, near the Museum Hill Interchange.
Dennis Onsarigo, his colleague was to be terminated as he headed home. To support his claims, Moha played a clip of the then Makadara MP Mike Sonko addressing residents of Likoni in May last year. Sonko said that he was aware of a plot to kill Mohammed Ali, Maina Njenga and himself.

In the flight recording aired on Jicho Pevu, the pilots were heard coughing repeatedly just before silence and crashing. They did not even press the distress button.

In the investigative piece, it emerged that the pilots that were to fly Saitoti initially, were replaced with other quite inexperience ones. Nancy Gituanja and Luke Oyugi were informed of their morning assignment that past night while at a club near the airport.

When the plane crashed, Mohammed Ali wondered why the police failed to seal off the scene to prevent loss of evidence. He also wonders why the plane wreckage was let to remain at the scene for 14 full days. A few moths later, Saitoti’s phone was recovered with an Administration Police officer.

Soon after, the commission investigating the accident, led by Judge Kalpana Rawal, was informed how NSIS made phone calls, to prevent the inclusion of particular evidence.
In the postmortem, there was decolourisation of the body, and a particular jelly-pink colour was observed in some organs.

These two factors are brought about by poisonous gas cyanide, and these two facts were not included in the final report. This was admitted by Dr. Amripal karsi. It proves that NIS Director Gichangi was aware of the plan.

Similarly, Ali and his colleague Dennis Onsarigo were threatened after running Paruwanja ya Mihadarati or Untouchables in 2011. Former Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere threatened he would sue the journalists after they exposed how a senior General Service Unit officer, Erastus Kirui Chemorei was killed.

The journalists wanted to prove to Kenyans that what the police had reported earlier concerning the death that it was robberies was not the case. In fact Chemorei had been killed by his fellow police in connection with the Sh6.4-billion cocaine seized by police in a private villa in Malindi where it was kept.

At the time of his killing, Chemorei was keeping custody of the store where the cocaine was kept. Jicho pevu exposed how together with then GSU commandant Lawrence Mwadime and Assistant commandant and current Police Commissioner, Mathew Iteere, were mandated to keep safe custody of the cocaine – the biggest ever netted locally.

According to sources, Chemorei who was an adjutant at the GSU Training School, Ruaraka, was picked because he was seen as honest, secretive, and trustworthy. These attributes would lead to his brutal murder at the hands of those who had theirs firmly fixed on the haul.

Jicho Pevu revealed that on February 19, 70 police officers led by then area DCIO, Julius Sunkuli, OCPD Augustine Kimantheria, and DC Christopher Musumbu surrounded his house. Many officers disembarking and taking positions around the barbed wired fence as others entered the compound planning how to finish him.

Daniel Maiyo, who was stationed at Kapsowar police post and who was among the officers in the said special operation, says in a statement that after arriving at Chemorei’s home, they found the OCPD and two other people they did not know.

He said the DCIO, Julius Sunkuli, told them to remain outside as he entered the compound, he shortly returned, and ordered them to search the house.

The officer says they found two bullets, handed them over to Sunkuli, and continued searching. But as they went on with the search they heard gunshots. When they came out they saw Chemorei lying dead about 30m from his house.

Besides the body, as they would verify later, were three AK 47 guns, three magazines, and 62 rounds of ammunition.

Another officer, Kimantheria, in his statement, says he was told there were gangsters who had escaped from Chemorei’s house, and he decided to follow them. But when he could not find them he headed towards the suspect’s home.

He said a few metres from Chemorei’s gate he heard gunshots, which lasted for about three minutes. When the gunshots stopped, he saw Chemorei’s body on the ground. He was told he had attempted to flee after being found with guns.

He said the guns found were AK47s serial numbers: 56-128132564, 1960 xa5207, and 386056367017 and 62 rounds of ammunition and a bayonet.

Sunkuli says in his statement that after the guns were found in Chemorei’s compound, Chemorei tried to flee and when cornered he attempted to grab a gun from a police officer hence he was shot.

But the statements of officers who were in the operation contradict Kimantheria and Sunkuli’s statements. Bernard Cheruiyot, a police officer, states that Chemorei co-operated with the police and did not attempt to run as indicated in the OCPD and DCIO’s reports.

“I heard the voice of the DCIO who was outside the gate say, “Simama!” Immediately officers opened fire. I never saw him jump over the fence.”

Another officer corroborates Cheruiyot’s statement. Jackson Cheruiyot says when they arrived at Chemorei’s house they found the OCPD in company of two other people inside the compound.

This was about the time when John-Allan Namu was still reporting for NTV and Harith Salim uncovered evidence of recruitment activities in Kenya by Somalia’s radical al Shabaab group.

Undercover video footage taken by the crew shows the activities of a network of terror recruiters luring youths to go and fight in Somalia. Disturbingly, one of the key recruiters captured on tape introduced himself as a serving member of the Kenyan military.

This is none other than Corporal Hussein Abdullahi Athan. He holds the rank of corporal, and has been in the Kenyan military for more than 10 years. Hussein is also a trained engineer – a skill set which, in the army, means that, among other things, he is a specialist in laying land mines and booby traps as well as in bridge-building.

His base is 10 Engineers in Nanyuki, but at that time he was attached to the school of combat engineering in Isiolo as a trainer.

In fact Juliet Kimaiyo should be very grateful to the media because they are able to discover security threats in the country which Kimaiyo with his security team are not able to do. But assure Kimaiyo’s threats are just like a sound of a frog which cannot scare a cow from drinking water. Kimaiyo and his team must accept they have failed in their duties.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
E-mail omolo.ouko@gmail.comFacebook-omolo beste

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.
-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
UN Disarmament
Conference, 2002

Tanzania: Time for journalists to minimize harm

From: Abdalah Hamis

By Simon Mkina

— Mass media has a well-known role to play in modern society. It can bring about radical changes and improve social circumstances as it influences our social, civil, cultural, political, economic and aesthetic outlook.

It is rightly said that media use is an index of development. The greater the use, the higher will be the level of education. As social beings, humans are sustained by mutual interactions, exchange of ideas, information and views with the fellow beings.

Illiteracy, which is nothing but absence of education and information is a stumbling obstruct for any aspect of development-
social, economic, political, cultural and even spiritual. Media has become the harbinger of development through the removal of these roadblocks and the provision of information and knowledge.

Apart from being the force of changes and knowledge, media is a vehicle of exposing various scams, scandals, frauds, embezzlements and many other cases of corruption leading to initiation of enquiries and other processes of prosecution against the perpetrators of these crimes.

However, media too suffers from some pitfalls; growing consumerism and materialism have adversely impacted our media. The partisan attitude, sectarian outlook and biased individualism in some sections of media are a testimony that media too is susceptible to harmful influences.

Often, in fierce rivalries, ethics of journalism are thrown out of the window to settle old scores. Running after opportunistic gains is another problem our media suffers from. The incidents of throwing are against the ethics of media.

So, in order for avoid chaos that media can bring about in the society, Journalists are supposed to obey their profession ethics when posting their articles or comments in their respective newspapers, television, radios, or on social forums.

Currently in Tanzania, there are some journalists who are going against journalism ethics by posting articles that are bias and that ethically they were not needed to be posted by professionals.

Such social forums have been created so that to enable people to present challenges that facing them whereby journalists have to use them as a tip of striker.

The Executive Secretary of Union of Press Clubs in Tanzania, Mr Aboubakar Karsan said recently that it was not wrong for journalists to comment or to post articles on their media or on social sites, but they have to make sure that they follow ethics of their professional by posting truth and well balanced posts.

He adds that instead journalists have to use those social sites to get tips for investigation stories so that to help people on challenges facing them, they use their platforms to write very cheap stories.

Furthermore, in asking journalists to adhere to their ethics, senior official from Media Council of Tanzania, John Mireny, recently was quoted saying that his council has noted a story in a mainstream paper of wide circulation that openly identified a victim of rape.

The story from the court, filed from Tarime District, in Tanzania gave explicit detailed information about the victim, including her name, age, and her residential details.
Mr Mireny said the article was identified by the MCT’s rapid response print media monitoring team.

Rape, he said, has recently become something of a human interest story-of-choice for the mainstream media in Tanzania. But more coverage has usually not meant better coverage, he added.

This has, once again, forced the MCT to immediately respond and remind reporters and editors of the necessity of adhering to ethical reportage.

In particular, the monitored reporting style, Mireny said, has directly violated the Code of Ethics for Media Professionals in Tanzania. On page 25, sub-section 1.9 regarding reporting victims of sexual offences, journalists are directed to “avoid identifying victims of sexual assaults”.

Mireny said that prejudiced and insensitive reporting is like ‘second rape’, causing the victim to feel violated all over again.

”The press wields a lot of power, owing to its wide reach. But through irresponsible reporting, it condemns to permanent stigmatisation even those who are victims of such inhumane acts, making them suffer double tragedy”, he said.

While it is necessary to expose such inhumane acts, professional ethics hold that it is important to minimise the harm by not identifying rape victims, he added.
Rape is coerced sex, a crime, and only perpetrators can be held responsible for the crimes they commit – not victims. Naming and shaming should be of perpetrators, not victims.

Reporting of a heinous crime like rape and sodomy in mainstream media does not have to be voyeuristic, insensitive, sensational, speculative and thus unethical, he cautioned.

These are some of the practice in journalism that has been painting badly the professional and now must be addressed to stop them so that Tanzania journalism become more responsible and respected.

Kenya & USA: Strong Words Mixed With Diplomacy From Former US Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt.

From: Maggid Mjengwa

My take:

Ambassador’s ‘way of thinking’ could also be US’s ‘ way of thinking’. Alfonso Lenhardt is a diplomat.

Maggid. Iringa.

– – – – – – – – – – –

” In a democratic society, freedom of press is paramount as media has a role and responsibility to disseminate information to help people make informed judgements., to shut down a press is to my way of thinking counter to that objective..

…Journalists have a part to play as well, by being professional- reporting the facts without bias, being as accurate as possible and doing it in a timely manner must not be compromised.

….In every situation there are two sides to the coin but I do not like what has happened… and I hope that will be rectified in some way.

I am not at all happy with the notion of suspending media houses in this case press organaizations because I would hope that as I said, it is freedom of the press.”- Alfonso Lenhardt, Former US ambassador to Tanzania, The Citizen, 4th October, 2013.

IFJ Raises Concerns About Deteriorating Situation of Press Freedom in Tanzania

From: Abdalah Hamis

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today raised serious concerns about the deteriorating situation of press freedom in Tanzania, following the decision of the East African country to ban two widely-read newspapers.

According to independent sources and news reports, on 27 September the Tanzanian government took the decision to ban the Mwananchi (citizen in Kiswahili language) newspaper for 14 days and Mtanzania newspaper for 90 days. The decision was confirmed by the Information Services Director, Mr. Assah Mwambene.

“We are seriously worried by the Tanzanian government’s decision. Banning a newspaper means preventing journalists from providing news to the public. This is a press freedom abuse which must not be taken for granted,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa director. “The authorities in Tanzania must re-open the two newspapers and promote press freedom”.

The official reason given for the decision is that the two newspapers were carrying stories “which were likely to force citizens to mistrust their government”. According to the government, Mwananchi has published several stories based on official documents not to be released to the public, while Mtanzania has published stories focusing on violence.

The IFJ believes that journalists in Tanzania are mature enough not to promote unethical standards in their daily work. It has stated that there is nothing to prevent the government from engaging in discussions with journalists and media practitioners to develop a more efficient and responsible way of working. The truth is that the Tanzania government continues to repress the right to media freedom in the country at a time when other African countries are making great efforts to improve freedom of expression.

The IFJ has questioned the decision of the Tanzanian government and stated that these are not the actions of a country that is respectful of the rule of law. In July last year the weekly newspaper, MwanaHalisi was banned. No decision to reopen it has been yet taken. While In September 2012, Daudi Mwangosi, who worked for Channel Ten as a TV reporter, died after being struck by a tear gas canister as police dispersed a crowd at a rally staged by an opposition political party ,Chadema cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party for Democracy and Progress). Until now there has been no justice for him and his family.

In December last year, Tanzanian police shot and wounded the journalist Shabani Matutu at his house in the capital city Dar-es-Salaam, and Issa Ngumba, a 45- year old radio journalist who worked for a community radio station Radio Kwizera in western Tanzania, was found dead on January 8 this year. He appeared to have been hanged by unknown assailants.

For more information, please contact: +221 33 867 95 86/87
FAJ represents more than 50.000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa

Tanzania; Africa; Press Freedom; Press Release


From: Abdalah Hamis

The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) recently completed a country Security Needs Assessment Survey for human rights NGOs, and for journalists being one of its thematic groups. According to our observations and what was recorded in the questionnaires that we distributed, media practitioners working for public media outlets are facing severe hatred from fractions of the citizenry or from supporters of certain political parties. These have led to commotions during political rallies and in situations where there is a tug of war between the citizenry in one hand and the government and investors on the other.

Given this situation this Coalition can foresee of worst scenario as this country is heading towards the 2015 General Elections. Incidents of throwing out, hurling stones and other forms of humiliations to this group are a common practice according to leaders of the 16 regional press clubs that were visited by this coalition.

Good examples to elucidate this scenario are in all regions which are a strong mainstay of the opposition, or which are endowed with rich reserves of natural resources. In this category regions like Mbeya, Iringa, Mtwara, Arusha, Kigoma and Dar es Salam have witnessed incidents of humiliating journalists like what happened to the TBC announcer Mr. Marin Hassani Marin when he was rounded up and harassed by sympathizers to the main Opposition party Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), when it was launching the presidential campaigns of their candidate Dr Willibrod during the 2010 General Elections at the Jangwani grounds following a sudden blackout of the national television coverage. Happenings like this could hinder the work of media practitioners in public media outlets which are run on coffers money.

Any sudden blackout of this media outlets have always created a critical risky situation towards these journalists as the public at large tend to assume that it is the journalists who decides what should and should not be aired without any attempt to understand that reporters operate under orders from their managements and editors. Just to mention a few, a similar blackout of news from the TBC led to the unprecedented violence against the Mtwara based TBC reporter Kassimu Mikongolo in May this year, whose house was set ablaze by the irate mobs condemning him of having terminated this coverage deliberately.

Other similar incidents have also occurred in Arusha whereby TBC reporters have been sidelined starting from the Arumeru by-election, and in other rallies by the Opposition CHADEMA. This has forced them to use stories which have been collected by their colleagues from such rallies. Scribes from public outlets that have faced difficulties are Leonard Manga, Sechela Kongola, Khalfan Mshana and Ben Mwaipaja.

In Kigoma scribes in the public media outlets have a working confidence with leaders from all parties. However, citizens at large do not have trust with such outlets. In Kigoma TBC reporter Dotto Elias once faced a stiff challenge when at the CHADEMA rally when he was harassed by its sympathizers. In that occasion CHADEMA’s leaders came to his rescue. Gervas Msigwa also with TBC has been facing harassments whenever he attends CHADEMA’s rallies he escaped narrowly an attack during the by-election in the Lisabon Songea in 2011.

The current chairman of the Iringa Press Club Mr. Frank Leonard, who is employed by a public media outlet publisher of Daily News and Habari Leo, says there is a problem with politicians who fail to construe journalists as members of the community and that whatever they report reflect people’s wishes. In the 2010 General Election the ruling CCM top leadership had substituted its candidate who emerged an overall winner and replaced him with one who happened to their own choice. By reporting this discrepancy he was seen as an agent of the opposition so he was confronted by the CCM’s Green Guards on grounds that he was working against their party, at the end of the day the ruling party lost in the Iringa Urban Constituency.

Due to insecurity that these journalists are facing they have been forced at times to remove the TBC emblem and stickers from their cars and cameras in an attempt to rescue their lives. Vivid examples were when they were covering cases of Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda Islamist leader and Willfred Rwakatare CHADEMA’s cadre. In these incidences George Kasembe and Nora Uledi almost lost their cameras to the angry mobs, let alone the booing from these fanatics of the two suspects.

The Source of these Commotions

• Our attempts to understand the core of this problem detected that the problem could be not with the scribes at the reportage level, but with their top management and editorial policies guiding their works. Journalists in this category always are at cross roads whenever they are engulfed in a tug of war between the citizenry and their government.

• Another challenge in a related situation is when some government functionaries like district and regional commissioners together with their district executive directors who choose to use such journalists as their public relations officers on an assumption those media outlets in electronic and print forms are their mouth pieces and of the government of the day and the ruling party.

• This has gone hand in hand with providing offices for them in shared public buildings between government administrators and journalists. This has always been at the peril of the journalists who must report in the tunes of the bigwigs whether it is through inducements and pay offs or the forced dictates.

• In another stance it is when public media outlets are sidelined by some institutions that do not trust public media outlets on grounds that they cannot get a fair coverage. This tells that some groups in the citizenry, political parties, or even public institutions do not have a trust towards public media outlets.

Under these circumstances journalists from the public media face a stiff challenge due to a failure to understand where they should stand and how their news coverage would be perceived by political fanatics, and whether their reportage will be against the expectations of the citizenry.

In an attempt to get a position of the TBC management recently there was a face to face discussion on the matter and TBC admitted some of these challenges such as those facing journalists in Mtwara, Arusha and Kigoma. Responding to the issues of being perceived as pro ruling party, the TBC denied the allegation saying that it is a non-political, non-biased entity and that it operates and it will continue to operate within its own guidance and editorial policy which moreover, guarantees fair coverage to all despite their political postions.

Solution to these Challenges

• On the question of security to journalists the TBC management admitted that there has been provision of training on security management but usually when General Elections approaches. This management acknowledged the importance of forming alliance with the THRDC in provision of security management trainings.

• There is a need to improve managerial capacity to the runners of these institutions so that they can get well acclimatized to the multiparty era in which this country is now operating.

• Also there is a need for a joint meeting between leaders of public media outlets, political parties, and the THRD-Coalition in order to underscore security of scribes in the forthcoming elections.

• This coalition urges all Tanzanians to stop harassing these journalists whenever they are in their routine coverage, and that any challenging matter should be reported to their management.

• We urge media practitioners in public institutions and their management to understand that public media should remain neutral and they should not have any kind of inclinations to either the government of the day or to any one political party.

• In order to maintain neutrality all offices of the public media outlets should be located outside the government buildings. Therefore the need to construct their own houses in order to get rid of an assumption that these are mere public relations officers of government leaders.

• We thank the TBC management for assisting Kassim Mikongolo during his trying moment including his subsequent transfer from Mtwara an area that could endanger his life. Moreover this Coalition will also assist him financially in order to meet some of the expenses that he has undergone following the tragedy.

Brought to you on behalf of the THRD-Coalition by:

Onesmo Olengurumwa