Royal Media Services boss SK Macharia’s bodyguards and the security manning the gates of his media house (Citizen Tv) has been withdrawn.
Sources at the media house alleged that the Wednesday morning, April 21, 2021 incidence was done with a motive of retaliating against Citizen TV’s investigative feature, Gun Galore (Silaha Mtaani) by reporter Purity Mwambia.
“The administration police are who are stationed at the gate work in two shifts, during the day and during the night. They did not report to duty.
“Those attached to SK Macharia were also withdrawn,” the sources said.
The move has raised concerns over the safety of the media house boss, its staff and the investigative reporter, Purity Mwambia.
This comes after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 announced that he would summon Purity Mwambia and some Senior Officials from Citizen Tv over Gun Galore report.
The DCI boss claimed that the media house did not consult the police or relevant stakeholders before airing the piece.
“The allegations made in this report are extremely serious. It is also apparent that crimes relating to unlawful possession of firearms may have been committed in the context of this report.
“We never refused to any operations being carried by you. This could be a fantastic operation if at least you could have put us on board. The moment you have received a piece of information where we can recover a firearm, please don’t be cheated it was okay to be done the way it was done. It was dangerous,” Kinoti said.
The Citizen Tv investigative reporters handed the exhibits collected in the report, among them an AK 47 gun, a pistol, handcuffs and police uniform to the police.
However, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) defended the Media house from the DCI summons saying that it expected the police to investigate the matter rather than violate freedom of the press and access to information.
“In this case where the media has exposed weaknesses among some elements in the National Police Service (NPS), natural justice demands that the same service cannot then purport to investigate or otherwise summon the journalists.
“Instead, efforts should be put toward finding out how their members are providing civilians with guns, bullets, uniforms and handcuffs. Summoning journalists to reveal their sources is a violation of press freedom,” MCK wrote in a press statement dated Tuesday, April 20, 2021.