The internal wrangles at the Media Council of Kenya have escalated with the Kenya Editors Guild criticising MCK CEO David Omwoyo over his decision to remove Tabitha Mutemi from the board.
According to a statement from the guild, seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the guild termed Mutemi’s removal as unprocedural, stating that the issues raised against Tabitha were addressed during her recruitment.
Omwoyo maintained that Tabitha could not serve on the board because she was a member of staff at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) working as the corporate communications manager.IEBC Corporate Affairs Manager and Association of Professional Broadcasters (APB) Tabitha MutemiFile
“Mutemi navigated the application, short-listing, interviews and appointment process without her status as IEBC employee being found to be an impediment by the selection panel and the appointing authority.
“In fact, we are aware her employment status was canvassed in the selection panel and she was allowed to proceed,” the statement read.
While ejecting her, MCK CEO cited an advisory from the Office of the Attorney General, which the Editors Guild described as blackmail.
“We urge the CEO not to succumb to external pressures that may lead him into committing an illegality, and also into compromising the integrity of his office,” the Editors Guild offered.
The fight is set to play out in the National Assembly where MPs have invited interested parties to resolve the matter.
"We will be petitioning the National Assembly to urge them to ensure the protection of media freedom for the benefit of Kenyan citizens and their democratic rights," the statement read.
The guild urged that should Tabitha be removed, the right procedure should be followed in revoking her appointment.
The editors clarified that they were not acting on behalf of either of the parties, but were seeking to protect media freedoms in Kenya.
“Insofar as it is the body mandated by the Constitution of Kenya to oversee the Media co-regulatory framework, it is our view that any actions which impact on the integrity and independence of the Media Council by extension pose a threat to media freedom,” the statement read.Journalists at a press briefing held by Education CS George Magoha in Nairobi on Wednesday, January 6, 2021
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