Top Forestry bosses in Mt. Kenya interdicted after attack on journalists


Top Forestry bosses in Mt. Kenya interdicted after attack on journalists
Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko. Photo/File

In Summary

  • Five Kenya Forestry Service officials, among them three bosses have been interdicted after four journalists were attacked after a handover event turned chaotic.
  • Mr. Munene, who condemned the attack, said they have since recorded statements with the police and will go for a routine medical checkups.
  • Mr. Tobiko directed the acting Chief Conservator of Forests Monica Kalinda to issue interdiction letters.

Five Kenya Forestry Service officials, among them three bosses have been interdicted after four journalists were attacked after a handover event turned chaotic.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko announced that the Mt. Kenya region officials; Head of Conservancy, Ecosystem Conservator, Forester in-charge of the station and the forest rangers will be interdicted immediately pending disciplinary action as well as criminal investigations.

Two journalists from Royal Media Services; Emilio Muriithi and Martin Munene together with Seth Mwaniki and Wahu wa Ngugi from MediaMax were attacked for recording the chaotic aftermath at the Naro Moru forest station.

They sustained serious injuries from the brutal attack. In a video captured by a member of public, an officer can be seen charging towards Mr. Muriithi and hitting him in the head causing him to fall and drop his camera.

The officer the proceeds to stomp on the helpless journalists as the people, who were running away as gunshots filled the air, starting shouting and screaming asking him to stop.

Mr. Munene, who condemned the attack, said they have since recorded statements with the police and will go for a routine medical checkups.

Mr. Tobiko directed the acting Chief Conservator of Forests Monica Kalinda to issue interdiction letters.

The journalists had gone to the forest station as new members of the Community Forest Associations (CFAs) took over from the outgoing group when a section of the crowd turned unruly forcing police to fire in the air to disperse the crowd.

It is believed the warring group was complaining of illegal logging in the area led by senior officials of the Kenya Forestry Service.

It was then that, as the journalists captured the drama, that the journalists were attacked.

Mr. Tobiko said more action will be taken on any official or officer who was part of the attack.

 

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