The Media Council of Kenya has condemned Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati for threatening a Royal Media Services journalist.
Wangamati allegedly threatened reporter Jimmy Simiyu over a story he has been pursuing.
In a statement, the Council says it’s aware that the Governor called the reporter to threaten him after an editor from the media house tipped him off about a story that the reporter had filed over an event held in Bungoma County on Saturday 12th June 2021.
The reporter has since reported the matter to the police which was recorded as OB 16/13/6/21 at the Bungoma Police Station.
The Council through its Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo now wants the Governor to desists from threats and respects the independence and freedom of all journalists.
Omwoyo has further urged the Inspector General of Police to intervene and ensure the matter is expeditiously investigated with the view of bringing all those involved in the alleged violations to account.
“In the meantime, the police must guarantee the reporter’s safety and security and Royal Media Services must establish the truth behind allegations that one of its editors was involved in the transgression and if confirmed, takes disciplinary action against the said editor for interfering with the independence and freedom of the affected journalist and jeopardising his safety,” He says.
The Media Council has also urged the public and various public governance levels, including County Governments, to refrain from threatening and obstructing journalists from undertaking their lawful roles.
“We remain committed to advocating for a safe working environment for Kenyan journalists.”