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Media Council of Kenya faults County Government of Kisumu for ‘threatening’ NMG journalists over damning COVID-19 story

The Council said the County has a right to demand that ethical standards in journalism are upheld and in return expects that the same shall be demanded of the County for violating freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information as provided for in the Constitution in articles 33, 34, 35 and the Media Council Act, 2013.

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MCK CEO David Omwoyo at a past function.PHOTO/Courtesy.

The Media Council of Kenya has faulted the County Government of Kisumu over what the regulator termed as intimidation and threats on Nation Media Group journalists regarding a Covid-19 related documentary scheduled to air on NTV on Saturday evening.

The County, through County Attorney Edris Omondi, had raised concerns on how the journalists accessed the hospital’s isolation and shot footages allegedly without the consent of the hospital’s management.

He said the hospital’s management was only informed that the journalists were to examine the covid-19 preparedness of the facility and not to document or even interview any patients or the hospital staff.

The County, in a letter, addressed to NMG Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu, warned if the video footages are so aired is unethical and violates not only the patients’ right but also doctor-patient confidentiality and the trust bestowed upon journalists.

“Be forewarned that we shall not hesitate to take every appropriate legal action against yourself and the media house if that documentary is aired this evening or any other day,” the County warned.

However, the MCK in a quick rejoinder said it had taken great exception to the threats issued against Nation Media Group over a preview of the above documentary entitled “inside Kisumu’s Covid Isolation Ward (#fightforbreath).

The Council said the County has a right to demand that ethical standards in journalism are upheld and in return expects that the same shall be demanded of the County for violating freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information as provided for in the Constitution in articles 33, 34, 35 and the Media Council Act, 2013.

“In this case, where the County Government is aggrieved by the ethical standards observed by journalists and media enterprise, the County is urged to file a complaint with the Media Complaints Commission which is legally mandated to handle such matters under section 27 of the Media Council Act, 2013 and issue remedies as it deems appropriate,” MCK Chief Executive Officer & Secretary to the Council noted.

He added that threatening journalists about their work or intimidating them not to undertake their duty especially on matters of public interest is a violation of press freedom and the Constitution.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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