Eliud Owalo, the cabinet secretary for information, communication, and technology (ICT), declares that the government would make a commitment to enhancing media freedom by encouraging self-media operations.
While commemorating the “International Day To End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists,” media stakeholders led by the Kenya Editors Guild emphasized safety issues regarding journalists, especially gender-based violence seen during the run-up to the 2022 August General Election.
“We reject any form of media restriction or press restraint. We think that if the media is accountable, it should be able to control itself in accordance with the law and, of course, the ethical standards of your particular profession, Owalo added.
The Kenya Kwanza government as a whole and my ministry, he continued, “will continue to defend the freedom of the press together with other civil liberties.”
As they were told that legal action would be taken against the offenders, media stakeholders present at the occasion remembered the attacks on journalists in the past.
KEG chairperson Churchill Otieno stated, “We are coming out of an election period and if you look at our records there are scores of journalists who came under attacks and threats by goons hired by politicians for no fault other than performing their duties.”
We have a responsibility to ensure that our fellow citizens’ cases are not ignored.
The event’s chairperson, Rose Lukalo, added: “The beatings, threats, intimidation, being kicked out of rooms, and nothing happens… Nothing occurs to uphold justice or permit journalists to carry out their duties.
While attending the event, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Jacinta Nyamusi brought attention to the condition of journalists in the nation and stated that the ODPP was striving to ensure their protection.
“The media are under digital attack now more than ever, making your task complex. Online harassment and violence are on the rise, and women are especially at risk for sexual and gender-based violence (GBV), which has an adverse effect on journalists by forcing them to withdraw in quiet, according to Nyamusi.
As the ODPP, we hereby reaffirm your commitment to always ensure both your security in Kenya and the protection of the media space.