Uproar After Police Assault Milele FM Journalist

David Omurunga, a Milele FM journalist identified himself as a journalist to the officers, but they refused to listen to him, even though he was classified as an essential service provider.

A journalist working at Milele FM was beaten up by police officers on Sunday night, April 5 outside his workplace in Nakuru County.

Speaking to KTN News on Monday, April 5, David Omurunga, the affected journalist, revealed that he was stopped by plain-clothes officers while leaving work.

He identified himself as a journalist to the officers, but they refused to listen to him, even though he was classified as an essential service provider.

"I was leaving the office at around 8:10 p.m. but four men attacked me suddenly. I thought they were thugs. They reaped my sweater. I had carried my equipment in a bag and I cannot find my recorder. It is lost.

"My knee is also hurting. My national ID card is also lost and I am wondering how being a journalist is equated to being a criminal," he stated.

He added that after the assault that left him injured, he was bundled into a Landcruiser and ferried to a police station but he was released before being booked into a cell.

"I called Madam OCPD Elena Kabukuru while in the Landcruiser who directed me to OCS Derrick Nyaga. I called him but we did not agree.

"When we got to the station, we were bundled into the cell but before I could get in, a police officer came asking for the journalist from the crowd," he added.

When Nyaga arrived, he told him that he had no means to return home but he was told to stay still and wait for officers to carry out their patrol duties. 

The encounter sparked an uproar in Nakuru with the journalists union in the region demanding justice for the scribe and action to be taken against the police officers.

Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo stated that the harassment was unfortunate and it was coming barely weeks after other journalists were attacked during London Ward by-elections.

He further disclosed that brutality cases against journalists in 2021 had exceeded 40.

"Some of the police have become rogue, are unable to follow the law and the fact that they are not able to follow a Gazette Notice issued by Interior CS Fred Matiang'i shows that they are unable to obey the law.

"What we have got to do now is ideally identify the individual police officers and hold them responsible which is why we are going to demand the Inspector General of Police have the (culprits) identified and taken to Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA)," stated Omwoyo.

Investigations into the incident have since been launched.