Politicians who attack media risk being barred from contesting, MCK warns
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has warned politicians against attacking the media saying those who will persist will face hurdles when seeking clearance to run for elective seats in the forthcoming elections.
In a press statement issued on Monday, September 6, MCK CEO David Omwoyo Omwyo said they will oppose clearance of politicians who continue to undermine the role of the media in the country.
“Any politician who attacks the media is a threat to press freedom and the Media Council of Kenya will oppose their clearance for partici[nation in the next elections,” Omwoyo said.
Omwoyo warning comes in the back of calls by a section of leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto urging their supporters to boycott Citizen Tv for allegedly running a ‘biased’ story about the DP.
Singling out, remarks made by Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, who referred to the Royal Media-owned TV station as ‘Gutter Press’, MCK condemned political leaders for passing blanket judgement on the media without following due process.
“Politicians cannot on their own accord term the media as unprofessional. Such an action amounts to taking the law into their own hands and proceeding to pronounce judgement on an issue they are not made to pronounce,” Omwoyo.
The MCK boss at the same time asked politicians and members of the public who feel aggrieved by media reports to file a complaints with them for further investigations and appropriate action.
“Referring to the media as ‘Githeri Media’ or ‘Gutter Press’ without empirical evidence is a total violation of media practice and standards and we demand retraction if the statement and apology issued,” Omwoyo demanded.