Media Council Acts Over Magoha’s Al Shabaab Remarks on NTV Journalist

  • Education CS George Magoha ddress the 2nd International Multi-Disciplinary Research Conference on Linking Research, Science Technology & Innovation with Development in Africa at Kabete National Polytechnic in
    Education CS George Magoha addresses the 2nd International Multi-Disciplinary Research Conference on Linking Research, Science Technology & Innovation with Development in Africa at Kabete National Polytechnic on May 5, 2022.
    Ministry of Education
  • The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has jumped to the defense of an NTV journalist who was reportedly subjected to derogatory remarks by Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) George Magoha. 

    MCK, in a statement dated Wednesday, July 27, lamented that Magoha has formed a tendency of harassing journalists and thus wanted him to retract his statement. 

    This was after the CS was accused of profiling the NTV female journalist wearing a hijab. Magoha was quoted to have joked that the media practitioner was an Al Shabaab representative. 

    “The Media Council of Kenya calls on the National Integration and Cohesion Commission (NCIC) to ensure the Cabinet Secretary issues an unconditional apology, withdraws the unfortunate remarks, and rescinds his directives against the smooth operation of media,” reads an excerpt of the statement.

    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha during a past meeting in Parliament.
    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha during a past meeting in Parliament.
    File

    “The council is disturbed that such comments, actions, and directives by a senior government official can expose members of the Fourth Estate to unnecessary harassment, ridicule, and victimization in the line of duty.”

    The media council further petitioned the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to probe into the matter and ensure that the CS issues an apology to the female journalist.

    According to the MCK, several other journalists complained that he undermines their work. 

    On December 21, 2021, Magoha was reportedly recorded attacking a Standard Media Group journalist, Augustine Oduor.

    He was said to have been infuriated by Oduor’s move to break a story about a strategic plan of parastatal under the Ministry of Education

    The council further accused CS Magoha of conspiring to block journalists from accessing schools while covering news on education matters.

    According to the statement, directives from the CS demanded that a journalist had to seek permission before visiting any school for media coverage. 

    "On January 7, 2021, MCK wrote to the CS and the Commission on Administrative Justice to protest a ministerial directive by the Ministry of Education requiring journalists to seek special permission to visit schools for media coverage," reads the statement in part.

    Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and his education counterpart George Omore Magoha during the launch of national examinations in Nairobi on Friday February 18, 2022
    Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and his education counterpart George Omore Magoha during the launch of national examinations in Nairobi on Friday, February 18, 2022
    KNEC

    "Such directives are a violation of journalists' privileges and rights as provided for by the international treaties and conventions as well as the Constitution of Kenya."

    On Tuesday, a section of Muslim clerics converged to condemn Magoha's sentiments terming the act as a threat to the constitutional rights of the journalist.

    The clerics called for his resignation or sacking. They also called upon the NCIC to look into the matter.

    CS Magoha has not yet responded to the allegations. 

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