Journalists Kicked Out of Lands Commitee Hearing

  • Journalists were on Thursday kicked out of a sitting of the Lands Committee of the National Assembly by a section of Members of Parliament (MPs) who complained that the media presence was making them uncomfortable.

    The matter was brought forward by Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani who stated that the media should be locked out of the hearing.

    He was backed by the Committee chairperson Dr Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South MP) who stated that the committee sessions should be conducted in camera despite the earlier notice that the session would be open to the media.

    "It's uncomfortable having the media in the room," Dr Nyamai noted as she directed journalists to leave the room.

    [caption caption="Kitui South MP Rachel Nyamai (Twitter)"][/caption]

    Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny opposed the move stating that their absence would raise eyebrows on the details of the meeting.

    "This is a matter that is in the public domain. If the committee handles the session in private, it will raise eyebrows as to what the committee is hiding," Mr Kuttuny remarked.

    According to the House Standing Orders, a witness should make the request whether the session should be conducted in public or private.

    The Committee is investigating the National Land Commission (NLC) over the alleged irregular payments of billions of shillings for the acquisition of land for Ndururumo and Ruaraka schools in Nairobi.

    NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri, CEO Tom Chavangi and director of evaluation Salome Munubi, who were appearing before the committee over the matter, were not given the chance to opine on the issue of kicking out of journalists.

    [caption caption="Joshua Kuttuny (Facebook)"][/caption]