Media Council Issues Statement on Ruto Allies Clash With Citizen TV

A File Image of Citizen TV Studios
The newly launched Citizen TV Studio with presenters on Sunday, August 7, 2022.
Digital Tech

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has issued a statement following a string of attacks by Deputy President William Ruto's allies directed at Citizen TV.

Through a statement dated Thursday, May 19, the Media Council singled out Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi and his South Mugirango counterpart Silvanos Osoro for intimidating the editorial leadership of Royal Media Services (RMS).

Sudi had called out the station for failing to censor remarks made by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, that he said borders hate speech.

The vocal legislator accused the Kilimani-based station of covering the Suna West MP as he allegedly insulted members of the Kenya Kwanza camp.

Kapseret MP OScar Sudi addresses a crowd at Megun Ward on Monday, May 16, 2022
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi addresses a crowd at Megun Ward on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Oscar Sudi

"Citizen TV, you can continue covering and reporting on Azimio and Junet Mohamed with all his (unprintable) and abusive remarks," Sudi stated.

In a message to all political leaders, the Media Council noted that reporting done by all media stations follows a professional code of conduct.

"We particularly take note of the latest verbal attack against Citizen TV by Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi vide a social media post meant to intimidate the editorial discretion of the station. Sudi's statement comes after similar threats by South Mugirango Member of Parliament Silvanus Osoro who castigated the media outlet for alleged biased reporting," a statement signed by MCK CEO David Omwoyo read in part.

"We advise politicians and the public that Kenya's media and journalists are guided by a professional code of conduct, with sufficient mechanisms for self-regulation, both as an industry or at a personal level," MCK added.

However, to address cases of dissatisfaction, MCK has urged political leaders who feel aggrieved to file their complaints through the Media Complaints Commission.

According to the Council 45 cases of press freedom violations have been reported since January this year with most of them relating to electioneering and political campaigns.

"The Council is disturbed that such threats are likely to incite the public and political supporters against the media and may thus expose journalists and media practitioners to violations of their rights as they go about their rightful duties.

Attacks against and intimidation of the media contravenes Articles 34 and 35 of the Constitution on the Freedom of Media and Access to Information," Omwoyo explained.

Journalists at a press briefing held by Education CS George Magoha in Nairobi on Wednesday, January 6, 2021