The Nation Centre building in Nairobi’s Kimathi Street where the Nation Media Group offices are located. Monday, October 21, 2019.
- Nation Media Group has called out police officers over the ill-treatment of members of the public along with an NMG journalist at the Likoni Ferry in Mombasa on Friday, March 27, 2020.
The journalist, Peter Wainaina, was roughed up by an officer as he attempted to cover the chaos that ensued at the ferry after law enforcement engaged locals in running battles two hours prior to the curfew.
In the statement seen by TMZ.co.ke, NMG castigated the actions by the police towards members of the public across the country.A driver who was manhandled by police as the curfew commenced on Friday, March 27, 2020
“The Nation Media Group condemns the attack on Kenyans, including women, children and one of our journalists, by police at the Likoni Ferry in Mombasa, various locations in Nairobi and the rest of the country,” the statement read in part.
The media house stated that the action by the police officers was not only illicit but subverted the government’s effort not curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
NMG argued that law enforcement had no mandate to conduct themselves in such a manner especially when the people had been delayed by a situation out of their control.
“This level of violence meted out on Kenyans trying to get back homes before the 7 p.m curfew, in some cases because of the circumstances beyond their control, is unreasonable, against the law and defeats the purpose of uniting the country against the Covid-19 pandemic,” NMG stated.
“It is outrageous and indefensible as happened in the case of the NMG journalist Peter Wainaina, for police to start assaulting the public two hours before the curfew,” the statement adds.
The media house stated that in attacking Wainaina the police had not only violated the constitutional protections of the media but also acted in contravention of the government’s own decision to reorganise journalists as providing an essential service and therefore allowed out during the curfew.
NMG further stated that it was in full support of the government’s curfew and any other quarantine measures imposed to keep people at home, to prevent the Coronavirus infection and save lives.
“Unfortunately, if the government allows the police to conduct themselves in this lawless fashion, these well-intended measures will lose public support, thereby defeating their noble intentions,” NMG stated.
“The image of Kenya matters. We want our country to be seen as orderly, open, progressive and one whose government respects the law and the rights of the citizens,” the statement adds.
NMG commended police officers and disciplined forces in other parts of the country who upheld their mission “to provide professional and people-centred police service through a community partnership and upholding the rule of law and secure society.”
“We wish to reaffirm our commitment to fight for the rights of all Kenyans even during unprecedented times such as this pandemic. We reassure our journalists that we are proud to stand with them and we will do everything to protect their lives and safety,” the statement concludes.