Following his recent threat to Citizen Television Journalist Muraya Kariuki, Media Council Of Kenya (MCK) has issued a statement condemning the actions of Embakasi East Member of Parliament Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino.
The Council warned the one time legislator from intimidating journalists, and demanding immediate apology and withdrawal of the said threats to Muraya from the vocal Member Of Parliament.
This is after the outspoken lawmaker had accused Muraya Kariuki of favoritism, stating that he always portrays his party leader Raila Odinga in bad light as opposed to their opponent Deputy President William Ruto.
He went on to belittle the journalist as a holder of diploma in journalism, while further accusing him of being in DP Ruto’s payroll for favors.
“Media Council of Kenya takes exception with the threats issued by Embakasi East MP Babu Owino to Citizen TV journalist Muraya Kariuki on his coverage of the ODM leader. This amounts to intimidation and a major infringement on press freedom”
“By virtue of his position as a legislator, we demand that the MP protects the very provisions of the Constitution that protect freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information as provided for in the Constitution,” the MCK added.
The council further pressed the outspoken Member of parliament to apologize to the news editor and the entire media fraternity about his recent actions.
“As the protector of media freedom in Kenya the @MediaCouncilK demands that the MP withdraws the threats and issues an appropriate apology to the journalist and the media fraternity.
“Further, we advise MP Babu Owino to file any media grievances he has with the.
@CcommissionKE Commission which is legally mandated to handle such matters under section 27 of the Media Council Act, 2013 and issue appropriate remedies” said MCK
The journalist on Monday, September 6, 2021, lay bare the details of threat messages he had received from a man who introduced himself as Babu Owino.
“I just received a very nasty phone call from a person who introduced themselves as Hon Babu Owino on +254 711 111311 This has to do with the work I do. It is not good manners to try scare lowly journalists. Tunaomba tufanye kazi kwa amani” said Muraya Kariuki.
This comes even as the council cautioned political leaders against gagging the media, cautioning that those who persist will face hurdles during clearance to run for elective seats in the upcoming general elections.
“Any politician who attacks the media is a threat to press freedom and the Media Council of Kenya will oppose their clearance for participation in the next elections,” Omwoyo said.