County Police commander on spot for ‘protecting’ officer who assaulted a journalist

Nakuru Journalists have condemned the police over what they term is laxity in ensuring justice for one of their colleague who was assaulted by police on 12th January 2020 and his work tools confiscated and destroyed while he was on duty covering students’ riots at Egerton University Main Campus in Njoro.

Addressing media in Nakuru on Wednesday morning, the journalists drawn from all the media houses in Nakuru faulted police for showing no interest in following up the matter despite being reported in Njoro under OB NUMBER 54/12/1/2020 AT 20.55HRS.

Led by Nakuru Journalist Caucus Chairman Kigotho Mwangi, the Journalists decried the manner in which police in Nakuru have handled the matter with less weight.

He said the colleague Robert Maina of Royal Media Services(Radio Citizen and Inooro FM)who was harassed and his tools of work destroyed has been having difficult time on duty due to lack of tools that were destroyed by a police officer.

To make matters worse, Kigotho says the officer who did the heinous act is known and the matter has been brought to the attention of the Nakuru County Police commander Stephen Matu but no action has been taken yet.

The Nakuru Journalists have now vowed to keep off covering any functions involving police officers until their colleague gets justice.

“We are calling on Inspector General of Police to ensure the officer who did this faces the law” said Kigotho.

Sentiments echoed by Robert Maina who was assaulted.He says it has been push and pull in trying to fight for justice with police officers led by Nakuru County Commander Stephen Matu.

According to Maina, Matu informed him that the said police officer who assaulted him is not under his command since he is an administration police.

“Since 12th January up to now nothing has been done even after trying to talk to Police Commander” said Robert.

Simon Ngure from Mount Kenya Tv also calling on the Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu to make sure the matter is addressed.

According to Ngure, the National Police service is under one command and therefore it is not logical for Matu to defend himself that the said officer is not under his command.

He also appealed to the Media Council of Kenya to play its role in safeguarding the rights of journalists.

“We know very well that the Police are under one command and therefore we demand action. We are also appealing to the MCK not only to release statements but also act in ensuring safety of Journalists” said Ngure.

Kenya Union of Journalists Nakuru Chapter Chairperson Mercy Kahenda on her part decrying the rising cases of police officers harassing journalists.

According to Kahenda 4 cases have been reported upto date in Nakuru with no action being taken.

The KUJ Nakuru Chapter Chair has vowed to petition Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu demanding action against police officers who have been harassing journalists while on duty.

“It’s unfortunate that the cases are on the rise. We are now demanding action and we shall be petitioning the Police commander over the same” said Kahenda.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Kenya Union of Journalists Nakuru Chapter Chairperson Mercy Kahenda flanked by Nakuru journalists addressing in Nakuru on January 29th,2020.