Jacque Maribe and Joseph"Jowie" Irungu in court on October 15, 2018.

One after the other, Kenya’s three largest broadcasters stopped providing live coverage of Monica Kimani murder court proceedings on the afternoon of October 24. First was Citizen TV and NTV who both aired live coverage of a government function before KTN News went back to studio to air BottomLine Africa, a continental news show hosted by Jesse Rogers.

Shortly after the court proceedings involving TV journalist Jacque Maribe and her fiance Joseph ‘Jowie’ Irungu went on recess, Citizen TV Swahili news editor and anchor Mwanahamisi Hamadi, said that Citizen TV would not be airing the 1.00 PM bulletin for reasons beyond the media station.

“We will not be having our 1pm news bulletin as is the norm as during that time we will be airing sponsored content. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. The matter is beyond us,” said Ms. Hamadi.

The media houses had to some point provided coverage of the proceedings when the prosecution was opposing the bail request of Maribe and ‘Jowie’, who are the prime suspects in the murder of former NMG employee Monica Kimani.

The prosecution had ammended the charge sheet, precipitating a 10 minute recess to allow the parties to look at new documents presented before the court.

That would be the end of the coverage after all of the media houses opted to air different content other than what the public would have rather watched.

Citizen TV and NTV switched to the launch of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Competency Based Education Training (CBET) policy framework at the Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) in Gigiri, Nairobi, an event attended by Deputy President William Ruto.

KTN News on the other hand went back to studio where 1pm news presenter Jessie Rogers wrapped up the bulletin before proceeding to host Bottom Line Africa, a continental news programme.

Earlier Proceedings

During the live coverage, the prosecution had opposed the release of the two suspects with Senior State Counsel Catherine Mwaniki arguing that Maribe is likely to intimidate witnesses while accusing Irungu of being a flight risk.

READ: TOO HOT TO HANDLE? WHY KTN REFUSED TO AIR A STORY ON PLUNDER OF S. SUDAN

“The second accused (Maribe) in her affidavit asked to be released on bail saying that she is a mother. She has a supportive family who can take care of the child in case the court does not grant her bail. Since she is a prominent prime time news presenter, witnesses might be intimidated by her release,” said the prosecutor.

Ms. Mwaniki further opposed Irungu’s release arguing that DCI’s investigations proved that he has presented himself as a dangerous person who is highly trained in combat.

The prosecution evidenced the flight risk accusation with investigations that revealed that Irungu travels constantly, all these factors she said, are likely to put Irungu in a position where he will interfere with witnesses, thereby complicating the case.

Irungu’s release was also opposed by the state as he had in his affidavit stated that he resides in Nakuru, a region where the High Court sitting in Nairobi has no jurisdiction.

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Irungu and Maribe had earlier taken plea afresh after the prosecution ammended the charge sheet to include other suspects who were not in court at the time.

The two were on October 9 charged with Monica Kimani’s murder after the latter was found dead at her house in Lamuria Apartments in Kilimani, Nairobi on September 19, 2018.

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