Nakuru journalists summoned over a COVID-19 story touching on Lanet barracks

High court lawyer Bernhard Kipkoech Ng’etich addressing media at the DCIO Nakuru on Tuesday after two Journalists were summoned for publishing a COVID-19 story touching on Lanet Barracks.PHOTO/Pristone Mambili.

Nakuru Journalists today camped at the Regional CID headquarters in Nakuru in solidarity with two of their colleagues who had been summoned to record a statement over a published story on lockdown at Lanet barracks over suspected COVID-19 cases.

Daniel Chege and Julius Chepkwony of the Standard Media Group had been summoned over a story published in the standard newspaper on Sunday.

The CCIO raised  concerns over the source of the story  particularly the figures of 50 people mentioned in the story.

High Court Lawyer Bernhard Kipkoech Ng’etich who represented the journalists stated that the CCIO’s perspective was that the story was likely to cause panic,shock and a scare not just in the country but also send signals to the enemies of the country that the Military in this country is besieged.

He was however quick to note that the authors of the story together with their editor Alex Kiprotich had explained the source of their story as well as the intention.

That the story was only meant to inform the public of cases of COVID-19 in Nakuru hence need to take precautions including the visinity of the Lanet barracks.

The lawyer calling on the CCIO to ensure that at the county level there is a mechanisms of ensuring information on COVID-19 is relayed rapidly.

“We have resolved the matter and we hope there will be rapid relayance of information irrespective of the quotas.This is not a matter of Millitary but that of immense public safety,that of public security” said Ng’etich.

Similar sentiments echoed by Kenya Union of Journalists Nakuru Chapter’s Secretary General Kioko wa Kivandi.

According to Kioko,security agents have been militarizing the war on COVID-19.

He says this should not be the case rather there should be proper flow of information.

He called on the security agents to ensure better working relationship with the press.

“The media actually play a key role in relaying information to the  public.Let us embrace them,invite them and pass across information that is key on COVID-19.The security agents should be the ones protecting journalists,not being a source of harm to them” said Kioko.



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