Journalist Assaulted at Govt's Tender Procurement Meeting

  • A file image of a radio station
    A file image of a radio station
  • A radio journalist was reportedly assaulted while covering a government tender procurement event on Thursday, March 25. 

    Samuel Geno, a journalist working with IBSE Radio, a local FM station based in Marsabit town, accused the area chief and local leaders of allegedly orchestrating the incident.

    Geno, in a letter written to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), claimed that locals had raised concerns over the plastic water tank tender process

    He also alleged that he was barred from covering the event by a ward administrator who asked him not to air the story as it was an in-house meeting not meant for the public. 

    "In my mind, I knew he was trying to conceal the information about the alleged misappropriation of funds budgeted for the purchase of plastic water tanks. 

    A radio studio microphone
    A radio studio microphone

    "Four people, among them the ward representative, a former MCA, the Assistant Chief intimidated and threatened me then dragged me into a nearby hall where they assaulted me," Geno reported. 

    According to the journalist, the ex-MCA snatched his phone, removed his mask, and grabbed him by the collar of the shirt, accusing him of secretly recorded the meeting

    He added that his assailants threatened to lock him up in jail. Geno reported the matter at Marsabit Police Station, OB No 38 of March 25, 2021. 

    The Media Council of Kenya also assured him that it would take up the matter and press the government to conduct an investigation. 

    Nonetheless, Geno lamented that this was the second time he has faced threats and intimidations while on duty. In 2019 he was reportedly forcefully kicked out of a county communication vehicle headed to the First Lady's event at Sasura Girls within Sagante/Jaldesa ward.

    "That kind of harassment and intimidation is really deplorable and unacceptable! It has really affected me physically and mentally. I fear for my life since there are influential people in society trying to interfere with and control information to satisfy their selfish interests, and am just an innocent reporter carrying out my duties as responsible journalists. 

    “I demand immediate necessary legal action taken against my assailants," he wrote to MCK. 

    Officers on duty at a police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2019