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Nkaissery threatens to sue media over 'reckless' reporting

06 November 2015, 09:41 Arap Yego

Nairobi - Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Joseph Nkaissery has threatened to sue three leading Kenyan newspapers over claims that they published reckless and distorted information on matters concerning his docket.

The CS Wednesday in a press conference at his office said he will seek legal redress against three papers; The Standard, Daily Nation and Star, for publishing alarming information that can pose a risk to the country’s security.

“The three dailies have today printed distorted information, which I can only imagine is calculated to create a perception that there are malpractices relating to procuring security systems within the Ministry of interior and Coordination of National Government,” explained Nkaisserry.

“We shall seek legal reprieve within the laid down framework,” he added and revealed that he was deeply disappointed with local media which according to him is irresponsible and blind to the fact that sensitive security information should not be published or aired.

“A core mandate of any nations defence is to ensure that its security systems and information relating to them is secured from falling into wrong hands and people. Globally developed nations go to great lengths to put in place measures that safeguard sensitive security information.”

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The remarks by a visibly agitated Nkaissery who was accompanied by his Interior Principal Secretary, Monica Juma emanated from press reports following his questioning by National Assembly’s Public Accounts committee (PAC) on Tuesday.

During the grilling at Parlaiment over the spending of KES 3.8 billion at his security docket, Nkaissery revealed that since taking over the  ministry nine months ago, he has had a battle with powerful cartels involved in the ministry’s major procurements.

Nkaissery, who appeared before the PAC chaired by Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda) said powerful wheeler dealer and “traffic of vendor cartels” involved in the ministry’s tenders shuttled between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto’s Harambee House offices.

At the press briefing, the CS said he was puzzled where the journalists got information from, noting that he appeared before the parliamentary committee under a prividledged environment, away from preying eyes of pesky reporters.

“We presented the information to PAC in camera as required by the law in order to safeguard unwanted elements that could harm the country. Their carrying of these stories begs the question of how the media, who did not participate in the discussion, accessed this confidential information,” said Nkaisserry, adding that he has also written to the National Assembly Speaker to find out how the committee proceedings leaked to the media.

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