New York Times on campaign to tarnish President’s name – State House

New York Times on campaign to tarnish President's name - State House

State House has accused the New York Times of engaging in propaganda campaign to tarnish President Uhuru Kenyatta’s image globally following an article published by the newspaper over the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a statement, State House reiterated that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda terminated the case against President Kenyatta because, by her own admission, she did not have sufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

According to a statement, Bensouda’s admission came too late “and was accompanied by an intense propaganda effort to prejudice, profile and libel President Kenyatta in the eyes and minds of the global public so as to rob him of his overdue vindication.”

The statement came just two days after the New York Times published an article written by James Verini suggesting that President Kenyatta was behind the funding of the Mungiki during the  2007/08 post election violence following an interview with former ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

“The New York Times continues its steady descent into the murky, rancid morass of gutter press and has abandoned all pretence of journalistic decency in pursuit of the Prosecutor’s agenda.Relying on the fanciful accounts of unreliable individuals, discarding all attempts at balance and fairness, the Times plies a malicious, vindictive and unprofessional article on the ICC cases. It is advancing the self-serving and deluded notions of Luis Moreno Ocampo, a man whose understanding of the Rome Statute  is slippery, and whose appreciation of the legal mandate of the ICC and the Office of the Prosecutor is subordinate to a strong penchant for the extraneous,” read the statement in part.

“Ocampo’s delusions are fortified by an appeal to believe the accounts of one of Africa’s most vicious, murderous and terrifying organised criminal syndicates against a demonstrably upstanding leader of integrity. Thus we have New York Times canvassing the exclusive point of view of a menagerie wholly unsuited to the purposes of truth, justice and accountability, and essentially suppressing a credible side vindicated by due process and entirely blameless.”

The statement sent by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU), questioned why the paper did not reach out to State House for a comment on the article that was being written.

“Whom did the paper contact at State House? Why did they not interview Dennis Itumbi, despite making reference to him? Is the truth on PEV going to be dictated by Mungiki, seriously? The robust canvassing of the Kenyan cases in the media underscores two important points. First, compared to the decidedly tepid effort in the pre-Trial and Trial Chambers, the OTP has shown extraordinary capability in the media political domain. At the ASP and in global media, OTP has invested disproportionate time, effort and resources.”

“This goes to prove our initial thesis that from the beginning, the Kenyan cases were never intended for adjudication in court. Rather, they were part of some externally orchestrated sequence of illegitimate political interventions,” read the statement.

This even as New York Times writer Verini claimed that President Kenyatta’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the article.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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