Cord leader Raila Odinga claims the Kenyan media has been compromised and thus cannot report objectively on the actions of the Jubilee administration.
Raila, who was accompanied by other Opposition leaders at Panafric hotel, was addressing the press after fruitless efforts to see five Cord MPs in remand after being charged with h**e speech. He told journalists present that they are cowering in fear like a dog that has encountered a leopard.
“Nyinyi wanahabari mmenyamazishwa. Mmekuwa kama mbwa ambayo imeona chui (You journalists have been compromised. You are behaving like a dog that has seen a leopard).
The charge comes against the backdrop of increased pressure from various quarters on the media to exercise caution in political reporting to avoid a scenario where it become a forum for dissemination of h**e speech, which can easily result in v******e similar to the 2007/08 one.
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Then, the media was partly blamed for fanning incitement to v******e and h**e speech and a journalist, Joshua arap Sang, was one of the s******s charged at the International C******l Court in The Hague, Netherlands. This forced the fourth estate to exercise great care while covering the events leading to the 2013 General Election and even launch campaigns for a peaceful poll.
However, Cord complains its MPs are being held incommunicado without access to their lawyers and families following “instructions from above”, which is not being highlighted in the press, and should be released immediately without charge.
MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Florence Mutua (Busia) and Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi) were a******d on Tuesday after addressing a press conference the previous day to react to claims by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria that there is a possibility of Raila being a**********d if Cord continues with uncoordinated street protests against IEBC commissioners.
Muthama’s lawyers led by Siaya Senator James Orengo have protested that he was never at the press conference as claimed by police.
Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete) and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) are also in custody – as in the case of their Opposition colleagues – they were denied bail by both the Nairobi magistrate’s court and the High Court. They all face incitement to v******e charges and are expected in court tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Cord has announced it will hold a night vigil at Uhuru Park’s Freedom Corner on Saturday and a prayer meeting in Machakos town on Sunday in honour of the five legislators.
Raila had earlier issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the government to set them free or he will lead his supporters to release them.
Cord co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka said he and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula will join the legal team led by Orengo tomorrow to defend the MPs.