County on the spot for MCAs locking out and harassing reporters

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Tana River County is on the spot for barring freedom of media.

Several journalists have probed the county for blocking their entry into county facilities such as the gallery, to cover news.

This is said to have erupted after members of the county assembly were covered in an altercation.

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MCAs engaged in a fight which saw one of them pulling out a knife, threatening to stab a colleague.

A journalist covering the chaos was assaulted and his phone confiscated by one of the MCA’s security guards and all files deleted before the phone was returned.

The assembly has since blamed journalists of making a “big issue” out of the incident, hence barring them from covering any proceedings at the county assembly.

Since then, journalists were informed that their presence was not important in the assembly and no one is allowed to cover its proceedings. Whoever tries to access the assembly buildings is forcibly ejected by security guards.

Even calls by authority groups such as the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) have landed on deaf ears.

“We visited the county assembly in a bid to address the matter but since we left the status quo remained. We plan to visit the county soon since there are some government officials in the assembly who are misusing their powers,” said MCK Deputy CEO and Programmes Manager Victor Bwire.

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