Three journalists attached to secular media houses have been attacked in Matungulu, Machakos County while covering a crackdown on illegal brews.
In a statement, the Media Council of Kenya confirmed that journalists Mike Ndunda from Kamba TV, Richard Muasya from Athiani FM and Boniface Mutisya of Mutongoi TV were attacked after being invited by the area chief Francis Mulinge to cover the operation.
"The Media Council of Kenya strongly condemns the attack on journalists who were covering a security operation at an illegal alcohol brewing den in Matungulu, Machakos County on 18th September 2023," MCK CEO David Omwoyo stated.
"We wish to remind members of the public that freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of a democratic society, and journalists play a crucial role in keeping the public informed by highlighting societal evils. It is essential that journalists can carry out their work without fear of violence or intimidation."
MCK however did not identify the attackers but warned members of the public against undermining the work of journalists across the country.
"Attacks on journalists not only violate their basic human rights but also undermine the principles of free speech and open discourse that are vital for a healthy society. We call on all citizens to respect the essential work that journalists do and to support their right to report the news without fear of harm," Omwoyo added.
Omwoyo also called on law enforcers to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attack.
"We urge our law enforcement authorities to take swift and decisive action to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these attacks. Attacks on journalists are crimes that go against the journalists' rights and privileges protected by law under the Constitution and the Media Council Act, 2013," he added.
"Protecting the safety and freedom of journalists is a shared responsibility, and we must all work together to ensure that they can continue to do their vital work without fear of violence or reprisal. We encourage anyone aggrieved by the media to report any complaints to the Complaints Commission which is legally mandated to mediate on the same instead of taking the law into their own hands."