Following the Tuesday’s incident of fake journalists’ arrest in Nakuru’s Pipeline area, media associations are now calling on practicing journalists to ensure they equip themselves with the latest accreditation cards from the Media Council of Kenya.
According to Kenya Union of Journalists Nakuru Chapter’s Secretary General Kioko wa Kivandi, that is the only way that the quacks will be wiped out from the industry.
He appealed to Nakuru Journalists who might be operating without the cards to ensure they apply them at Media Council of Kenya.
“Whatever has happened is a call to all of to ensure that we are operating within the law by having the Media Council accreditation cards” said Kioko through the Nakuru Journalism Whatsapp Group.
In accordance to sections 4(k), 13(2), 19(1) and 36 of the Media Act 2007, the Media Council of Kenya undertakes Annual Accreditation of journalists practicing in Kenya for purposes of compiling and maintaining a register of journalists, media practitioners, media enterprises and media training institutions in Kenya.
On many occasions Media Council of Kenya has advised that only accredited reporters carrying valid Press Cards should be granted access to key institutions in official capacities.
MCK CEO David Omwoyo said a high number of unaccredited journalists have been blackmailing Members of the National Assembly, Senators, litigants and hotel guests while harassing bona fide journalists in these areas.
MCK has also in the past written a request to the Parliament, The Judiciary and the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers (KAHC) to aid in the weeding out of the non-accredited journalists from their facilities.
In addition, MCK is generating new press cards with a micro-chip that facilitate access to various key institutions for accredited journalists.
This even as Nakuru Jubilee Party Branch Secretary General Cheruiyot Kiplangat recently raised an alarm over what he termed is a group of people masquerading as journalists in Nakuru town.
According to Cheruiyot, he has been a victim of such after being interviewed but the story did not appear anywhere.
“We have people here in town who masquerade as journalists but their stories do not appear anywhere” he said.
It should be noted that accredited journalists are supposed to observe the Code of Conduct for the practice of Journalism; observe the rules and guidelines issued by the Council; and carry the accreditation badge with them at all times while on duty.
Peter Wanjau, 34, Doreen Waiganjo,25, and Githaiga Karani,30, are said to have on Monday made a phone call to former Nacada boss John Mututho requesting to interview him. They claimed that they were working for Citizen TV. Mututho had accepted to have the interview on Tuesday.
On Tuesday he met them at a hotel near Pipeline. However, Mututho’s instincts prompted him to call some RMS journalists based in Nakuru to confirm whether there were such reporters sent from Nairobi. It turned out there were no such journalists
It’s at this time that he raised alarm and police rushed to the scene arresting the trio who were to be arraigned for impersonation.