Nakuru blogger Elijah Kinyanjui questioned by DCIO over social media post

Nakuru based Journalist cum blogger Elijah Kinyanjui has recorded a statement with the Nakuru DCIO following a complaint raised over a story he recently published on social media touching on Nakuru’s Victonel Academy school head identified as Ms Mary.

According to Kinyanjui’s write-up on social media,he stated, “A  highly reliable source puts one Madam Mary, who’s headteacher at Victonell Academy, Pangani, on spot, alleging she’s been playing several fundraising games to get the bucks.The most horrifying is the tact she reportedly used for that… claiming that her own mother had died.”

In the write-up, Kinyanjui added that parents at the school have been trying to get the school owners to act on her but to no avail despite what they’re saying is glaring evidence that she doesn’t deserve to remain school head.

It is in this context that the said teacher moved to DCIO in Nakuru to launch a complaint against Kinyanjui’s publication refuting the claims raised.

This saw Kinyanjui summoned by DCIO and on Monday morning, he together with his lawyer Steve Kabita reported and recorded a statement.

Lawyer Kabita differed with the investigating officers over their move to have Kinyanjui’s phone to help them trace the source of the information.According to the Lawyer, Journalists as whistle-blowers have a right not to reveal their news sources.

Addressing media after recording the statement with DCIO, Kabita maintained that the law on media freedom is clear and should not be compromised by any quota.

“There is a procedure in the law where anyone who has a complain on journalists should do so through Media Council of Kenya and not police. However we honored the summons and we have recorded a statement. We expect investigations to be conducted on the authenticity of what he posted” said Kabita.

Kinyanjui on his part maintains that what he posted was genuine complaints from parents of the school.

He called on the investigating officers to play their part for he was only a whistle blower on the ills in the society.

“Let the officers conducted independent Investigations and they’ll unearth that this is the truth. But in as far as disclosing my sources, that I won’t do and it’s a cardinal rule in journalism to protect one’s sources even before court’ said Kinyanjui.


Citizens successfully lobby release of resident from Bahati Police

Phidelis Njeri, a resident of Kabatini Ward in Bahati was last night released from police cell in Bahati police station.
Phidelis who works in the area MCAs office had spent the night in the police cells and would have been there till Monday had it not been for the intervention of Nakuru residents.

The arrest of the outspoken Phidelis is suspected to have been politically instigated. She has been a long time challenger of Bahati MP Hon. Kimani Ngunjiri and even took him head on live TV a few weeks back. The MP had stomped out in protest.
According to the Bahati police station OCS David Rono, Phidelis was being held over water pipes that had been transferred from a government premises to a private one without the knowledge of the employer.
The case is however seen by many as witch hunt considering the case was resolved a few months back in August.
“When I sought the views of MCA Paul Mwangi who is her employer, he had said that the OCS had resolved there was no case back then. The revival of the case several months later is a pure case of intimidation,” said Grace Wangui Karuga a Women Rep aspirant in Nakuru, one of those who had gone to free Phidelis.

Citizen and Social media power

Once the news of her arrest had broken out, residents of Nakuru had quickly arranged to visit her on Social Media. The first group consisting of Nakuru Analysts founder Elijah Kinyanjui, Women Rep aspirant Grace Karuga, Hawker’s leader Ole Nasieku and Wairimu Musindi had left Nakuru town at 4:00 PM.
Others had joined them there later including Kiamaina MCA Samuel Kamau Kajoyce. Those that were away had expressed their solidarity including Bahati MP Aspirant Crispus Wathimba.
After discussions with the OCS, he had agreed to release Phidelis on a cash bond of Kshs. 5,000. The OCS who was described as highly arrogant by those present had however changed tune and asked for Kshs. 20,000 as bond.
“The OCS had demanded a Kshs. 5,000 bond and after we had raised it among ourselves, he raised it to Kshs. 20,000 to further frustrate efforts to free Phidelis, reported Ole Nasieku.

Phidelis Released – Finally

An agreement had been reached by 6:30 PM when they agreed to release Phidelis on 5K bond. As the bond was being prepared, another cop wielding a whip had unceremoniously chased those who had gone to stand in solidarity with Phidelis out of the station. He had told them to do their waiting outside.
“I think this station should be investigated. They don’t treat people fairly at all and they have been accused of even harassing Bodaboda riders,” said an aggrieved resident.
Phidelis was finally released a few minutes to 7:00 PM.

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