NTV Ordered to Pull Down Covid-19 Millionaires Story From Social Media

  • File image of a news set at NTV studios in Nairobi
    File image of a news set at NTV studios in Nairobi
  • The High Court in Nairobi, on Wednesday, September 23, dealt a blow to the Nation Media Group's NTV in the Covid-19 Millionaires investigation.

    In the ruling, the broadcaster was ordered to pull down the story from all it's social media handles pending the hearing of a libel case by Megascope Ltd against the broadcaster.

    In its suit, the company, which was one of the firms mentioned in the report, claimed that the investigative piece failed to provide proof that Megascope stole Covid-19 kits donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

    In a past interview, Megascope CEO Richard Ngatia criticised Denis Okari, the author of the report, for relying on statements from National Action Against Corruption Director Gordwins Agutu, whom he termed as untrustworthy.

    NTV investigative journalist Dennis Okari
    NTV investigative journalist Dennis Okari

    "Its very bad how NTV associated with the fellow to destroy people's businesses. The matter is already in court and you'll come to know about it soon," Ngatia spoke.

    Our attempts to get a reaction from the Nation Media Group were unsuccessful by the time of publication. 

    In the NTV report, the complainant was mentioned among the companies that were appointed by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), to clear medical supplies donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma at JKIA, some of which were said to have disappeared after being cleared.

    The Kenyan media has in the past found itself at loggerheads with the state or powerful businessmen.

    On Wednesday, September 9, the Council of Governors headed by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya blacklisted Nation Media Group from its list of advertising partners following a story it claimed was malicious. 

    The story published by the Daily Nation on September 8, titled Eight Governors on Graft Hit List had reported that a number of governors had been wanted for corruption. This did not go well with the CoG. 

    The CoG also warned that other media houses would be blacklisted for carrying such "sensational" stories.

    The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) slammed the governors shortly after and accused the CoG of intimidation and curtailing media freedoms.

    The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) also threatened the Council of Governors of criminal prosecution if if blackisted NMG.

    In 2011, former KTN investigative journalists Mohammed Ali and Dennis Onsarigo fleed to Norway in search of asylum over hard-hitting reports they did at the time. They claimed that their lives were in danger.

    Investigative journalist Dennis Okari interviewing one of his sources
    Investigative journalist Dennis Okari interviewing one of his sources