Media Council asks DCI to take action after Sonko filmed assaulting journalist

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a past event. PHOTO | COURTESY
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a past event. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has come out strongly to condemn the assault of a journalist by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, urging the Directorate of Criminal Investigation  (DCI) to take action.

Sonko was on Tuesday seen on live TV physically assaulting a journalist at the EACC headquarters where he had been summoned to clarify information he gave that enabled him to vie for the gubernatorial seat two years ago.

“The Media Council of Kenya takes great exception by the harassment of journalists by Nairobi city governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko at the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Headquarters in Nairobi on 5.11.2019,” read part of the press release, which also condemned the police who supported the assaults.

“The council notes with concerns that instead of protecting the journalists, the police deliberately lobbed teargas at the journalists in a bid to prevent the members of the press from covering the unfolding events. It is unfortunate that the law enforcement officers would support the harassment of Kenyans who are in pursuit of their work.”

The journalists who were assaulted include Steve Shitera fom Citizen TV, Collins Kweyu from Standard Group and Jeff Angote from Nation TV. The council called upon the DCI and DPP to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attacks and bring culprits to book.

“We wish to remind the perpetrators of the violence that press freedom is a right enshrined in the constitution and any attempts to block journalists from exercising this right amounts to gross violation of the supreme law” said MCK.

The video which went viral shows Sonko and his supporters marching to the EACC offices and on reaching the gate, the Governor and his bodyguards are seen slapping and shoving the journalist who was trying to make his way into Integrity Center.

A police officer in anti-riot gear holds the gate halfway open to prevent the demonstrators from gaining access then Sonko pushes back the journalist and proceeds to make his way into the building with his supporters being left outside the gate.

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