Former journalist sues newspaper for defamation



By Lilian Otieno

A Nairobi court has directed that a case in which a former journalist is suing Nation Media Group for defamation be heard on experte DEC 13 2016.

Justice Mmosa gave the directions when she certified the matter urgent and directed that the respondents in the matter be served.

In the application, John kago Murima a former news anchor with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation wants Nation Media Group compelled to accept liability for defaming him after the daily nation newspaper in their 20th October 2016 publication insinuated that he is a beneficiary of the NYS scam.

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Kago says the dragging of his name into the scandal has caused him great damage and says the publication is a case of mistaken identity.

Nation Media group limited and John Njagi have been named defendants one and two respectively.

Kago states that on the 20th day of October 2016, the two jointly and severely maliciously, recklessly and without any justifiable reasons or lawful excuse published or caused to be published and circulated through their Daily Nation newspaper an offending article entitled “ NYS scam cash ‘turned a mere driver to millionaire” in which article they falsely, recklessly, negligently and maliciously stated to their readers that he together with others were involved in stealing the NYS money and using the same, enriched themselves.

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He further says that the defamatory news item in so far as they refer to him was brazen disregard for actual truth or a deliberate intent to give credence to the news with actual knowledge of their falsity and defamatory content.

The article in paragraph 2 stated “Some people who appeared before the committee said Mr. Kago was a driver to Mr. Gethi, but he also acted as a broker in purchasing property using the proceedings from the scam as they sought to launder the stolen funds.

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Other sources indicate that he was a news anchor at a public broadcaster, whose lifestyle changed suddenly before he was fired after his name started being mentioned in the scandal”

As a result of these statements Kago says his integrity, social standing and professional reputation among his peers, the public, extended family and friends have been terribly injured, eroded, damaged and desecrated. It has also distressed and stressed him, embarrassed and injured his dignity, reputation, honour and profile in totality.

Further, he says the publication has disgraced, stigmatized, ridiculed and scandalized him and it will not be easy for him to redeem his image before right thinking members of the society.

He will be asking the court to inter that the defendants and its editors were reckless and negligent and disregarded as to whether or not they were libelious when publishing the article he terms offending. And that they knew or ought to have known that the offending words were untrue and defamatory, false, fabricated and contravened by the defendants as there was no money found in his account.

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The former journalist says that despite having notified Nation Media group of his intentions to sue and having demanded that the defendants furnish him with a written apology, unreserved and unconditional retraction of the entire content of the information in writing among other things, they have failed to meet any of the demands.

He concludes that the reportage was dishonest and inaccurate and has grossly defamed him, violated his rights of dignity and reputation.

The defendants are expected to respond to the application before the exparte hearing scheduled for December 13th 2016.



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