Police guarding Royal Media offices withdrawn days after ‘Silaha Mitaani’

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The government has withdrawn AP officers guarding Royal Media offices at the Communication Center in Kilimani. This comes just a few days after Citizen TV aired an explosive report ”Silaha Mitaani”, which documents how rogue elements within the police service collude with criminals.

Speaking on Tuesday from the DCI headquarters, George Kinoti strongly defended the police and criticised Citizen TV for being on a smear campaign and incite the public against the police. He accused the journalists of not informing the spy agency and furnishing them with information regarding the criminals.

“When you [journalists] receive any information of someone in possession of an illegal firearm, that is when you should inform us, that is our job. Don’t be cheated that it is safe to do it the way it was done by the people who did it, it was extremely risky and they could even have fallen into a very dangerous trap. If we refuse to cooperate with you then you can also report that because this is a very noble task you’re undertaking,” Kinoti said on Tuesday.

However, the Media Council of Kenya has faulted Kinoti and reminded him the Citizen TV journalists were doing their job, and it was upon the police to launch comprehensive investigations over the chilling expose.

“While the Council recognizes the role of the DCI, it expects that the process is geared towards investigating the matter and not violating freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information as provided in the Constitution in articles 33, 34, 35 and the Media Council Act 2013.”

“In this case where the media has exposed weaknesses among some elements in the National Police Service, natural justice demands the same Service cannot then purport to investigate or otherwise summon the journalists. Instead, efforts should be put toward finding out how their members are providing civilians with guns, bullets, uniforms and handcuffs,” Media Council CEO said yesterday.

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