Journalists beaten up, equipment worth over KES 1M vandalised by County askaris
10 June 2015, 09:13
Kitale - Four journalists based in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County are nursing injuries after they were beaten up by county government security guards while covering a protest in the area.
The journalists; Duncan Waswa (Imani TV), Leonard Wamalwa (West Fm Radio), David Musundi (Royal Media Services) and Richard Saka (Milele FM) were clobbered by the guards and goons right outside the gate of Governor Patrick Khaemba’s office.
The equipment of the scribes which included video cameras and recorders were also destroyed and vandalised, with the reporters suffering a loss estimated to be over KES 1 million.
Trouble started when the group of demonstrators who wanted to present their petition on corruption issues in the County were barred from entering Governor Patrick Khaemba’s office.
Hell broke loose when the guards started clobbering the protesters and also turned the heat on journalists who were covering the event.
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“I was recording the events when the county askaris descended on me with clubs. Before I knew what was happening, I fell down and the guards still continued hitting me. My colleagues came to my rescue,” said Waswa, who was badly beaten.
The three other journalists were beaten up too as they tried to help Waswa, and it took the intervention of police officers to save them from the ire of the County guards.
The journalists reported the matter to Kitale Police station and recorded a statement OB 0338/9/6/15.
Trans-Nzoia County Police boss, Lilian Okembo confirmed the incident and said they have launched investigations over the matter.
She promised that the perpetrators of violence against the journalists will be brought to book.
“If it were not for quick intervention of my officers, we could be talking a different story now. My officers rescued the chairman of the protesters Mr Kefa Were and his fellow organisers from the guards and goons,” she said.
“It’s a big mistake to attack journalists in their work. I have issued instructions that whoever were behind the incident should be arrested and arraigned in court for assaulting the journalists and destroying their equipment,” said Okembo.
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