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Gaitho warns govt against intimidating opposition

22 July 2014, 08:49 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The outgoing Chairman of the Kenya Editor’s Guild, Macharia Gaitho has cautioned the government against undermining the opposition from carrying out its constitutional oversight mandate.

Gaitho said since the Constitution allows the opposition to play the watchdog role, the Jubilee government should not frustrate it.

“The Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the government should not undermine those who oppose some of its operations,” said Gaitho.

He asserted that the media will continue to provide a platform for both the government and the opposition to articulate their issues for the benefit of citizens.

“It is time for the government to articulate and address development-based issues, not engaging the opposition in politics. The opposition is playing its role and the media will not sideline any party in airing its views,” he assured.

Gaitho said the government did not stop the media from offering live broadcast to CORD during the Saba Saba rally, but the decision was reached by the editors and that the opposition did not invite the media for live coverage.

He faulted the Senate’s recent debate accusing the media of sidelining the opposition in favor of the government following its failure to provide live coverage in the rally.

The Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association (KPJA) Chairperson, Caroline Wafula lauded the National Assembly’s Speaker, Justin Muturi for his assurance of providing a new and spacious media centre for journalists reporting from the Parliament.  

“I am glad that the National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi has agreed to allocated Parliamentary journalists a permanent and well equipped office in the ongoing construction of the Senate’s Assembly,” said Wafula.

She said KJPA in collaboration with the Media Council of Kenya, and Parliamentary Media Service will provide new accreditation to journalists covering Parliament to avoid quacks who access the venue to extort money from MPs.

Wafula added that training forums are needed to educate parliamentary journalists on covering Parliament matters since majority of them lack essential knowledge on Parliament’s legislative process.

The two were speaking during the Parliamentary Journalists’ forum Monday.

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