By James Ratemo
The Government wants Nation Media Group punished for stories it published on alleged graft in the Ministry of Health.
“In my capacity as Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology, I take great exception with the manner in which Nation Media Group has over the last week sought to depict government as corrupt, inept and full of thieves through deliberately slanted and skewed reporting of the Ministry of Health interim audit report,” said Mr. Mucheru on Wednesday November 2 2016 at a press conference in his Teleposta Nairobi office.
See the full statement by the ICT Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mr Joe Mucheru here.
Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology Mr. Joe Mucheru (Second left) during a press conference on Wednesday November 2 2016 at his Teleposta Nairobi office. Looking on is Charle Kerich, Media Council of Kenya Chairman (far left), Sammy Itemere, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (Centre), Dr. Haron Mwangi, Media Council of Kenya CEO and Timothy Kariuki, Chairman, Complaints Commission.
The Cabinet Secretary demands that the Council’s Complaints Commission takes action against the media firm for “slanderous and false reporting contrary to its own editorial policy, professional etghics and general rule for fair coverage.”
The CS said despite the complaint, the government is not discouraging media interrogation of government projects.
“We are fully committed to freedom of the press and expression as enshrined in the constitution. However, freedom of the press and expression must be exercised responsibly,” said Mr. Mucheru.
On its side, The Nation Media Group said it will await direction from the Media Council of Kenya and would defend itself for the contested stories.
In a report on the Daily Nation of Thursday November 3, 2016 (page 5) Nation Media Group Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi said the media house will obey summons from the Complaints Commission and “if it comes to us having to defend ourselves and the work we have done, we shall gladly do so.”
The Chairman and members of the Complaints Commission established under the Media Council Act 2013 were sworn in on 31st October 2016 at the High Court, in Milimani, before Justice James Wakiaga.
This came after they were gazzeted by the Cabinet Secretary for ICT Mr Joe Mucheru on 3rd October 2016.
The members will be in office for three years.
The Commission is now tasked with dealing with the over 100 cases awaiting determination. Also read: MCK gets a new Complaints Commission