Journalists condemn attack on NMG by CS Kuria, demand an apology

Journalists have come forward to condemn Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s attack on the Nation Media Group, demanding he retracts his threat and apologise over hate remarks.

In separate statements on Monday, the Kenya Union of Journalists and the Kenya Editors Guild both noted that the remarks by the CS is a threat to the role media plays in the country’s democracy.

“The attention of the Kenya Editors’ Guild is drawn to a set of remarks attributed to Moses Kuria, the CS Trade and Industry, attacking a leading media establishment in the country, the Nation Media Group. In the first statement, a Tweet, the CS describes Nation Media Group in a foul language uncharacteristic of a state officer of his rank,” KEG said.

In a tweet on Sunday night, the CS used unprintable terms to describe the journalists of NMG.

In the second statement, the CS while speaking on Sunday at the Akorino Annual Convention in Embu virulently attacked the same media house.

“… Nation Media, you must now decide whether you are a newspaper, broadcasting house, media house or a political party. I have said, from tomorrow, from today even, any government department found placing advertising in Nation Media Group, consider yourself out (of government). We do not know the context in which such unwarranted, uncalled for and totally off-the-mark remarks were made given that the CS did not expound further,” he said.

KEG president Zebeidah Kananu demanded that the CS issues an unconditional apology over the remarks.

“Editors, journalists and all media practitioners expect assurance from the Kenya Kwanza administration that the sentiments expressed by CS Kuria do not represent the policy of the government, and the media enterprises will be accorded their space to execute their mandate,’ Kananu said.

She stressed that if a State Officer or any Kenyan is aggrieved by the work of the media, they have an array of avenues to raise them, including pursuing the legal route or reaching out to the media entity concerned.

“To go out in public spaces to lambast and reduce the important work the media does to whorish business is the highest form of insult to media professionals in the country. Indeed, Hon. Kuria’s remarks have taken us back nearly 30 years ago when the late Mulu Mutisya, a one-party dictatorship zealot, described journalists in similar terms,” she said.

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