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Friday, August 18, 2017

Nation journalist Walter Menya's accuser revealed

Nation journalist Walter Menya at a Nairobi court on June 19, 2017. /ANNETTE WAMBULWA
Nation journalist Walter Menya at a Nairobi court on June 19, 2017. /ANNETTE WAMBULWA

Nation journalist Walter Menya allegedly asked for a Sh50,000 bribe from a man named Kiprotich Koros, a Nairobi court heard on Monday

Menya was arraigned at Milimani law courts after being arrested on Sunday and spending the night at an undisclosed police station.

He did not take a plea but returned to court at 2pm for the hearing of an application for his detention during investigations. A decision is yet to be made.

Read: Nation journalist Walter Menya arrested over Sh50,000 bribery claims

In an affidavit seen by The Star, the DCI says Menya was found with Sh20,000 when he was apprehended.

DCI officer Moses Gituathi told the court the journalist received Sh32,000 through M-Pesa transactions between June 15 and 17.

"During the arrest, the respondent was found in possession of Sh20,000 which was treated for the purpose of evidence collection after the report was made and the same was kept as exhibit," the officer said.

The officer adds that they need more time because the money and the clothes that Menya was wearing "were yet to be submitted to the government chemist for examination on the APK powder".

The affidavit says after getting the money, Menya published the story 'Civil servants in JP foundation say all they want is to alleviate poverty'.

Gituathi said he was arrested when he went to collect an unpaid sum of money from Koros after the story was published.

The DCI asked the court for three more days to finish their report, the officer saying the clothes Menya was wearing were yet to be given to the government chemist for examination on the APK power.

PROTEST ON ARREST

The Kenya Union of Journalists are expected to hold protests today in a show of solidarity with Menya. The march will begin outside Nation Centre in the CBD.

Claiming Menya was set up, KUJ secretary general Eric Oduor said journalists must say 'no' to intimidation.

"All journalists must come out to say 'no' to intimidation and show solidarity with Walter Menya who was arrested after a setup."

Nation also protested intimidation saying Menya was arrested following a story he penned in the company's Sunday newspaper.

"We are seeking facts from the investigating authorities to enable us to take appropriate action," Clifford Machoka, head of corporate affairs, said.

Police spokesman George Kinoti issued a statement saying Menya is accused of soliciting money to kill the said story.

Kenyans condemned the arrest and intimidation of media workers via social media.

Lawyer Donald Korir said: "It's truly sad when paid bloggers accuse Walter Menya of extortion before he is convicted. Our constitution is explicit on innocence."

Odeo Sirari of the BBC said: "If it is true, whoever was 'bribing' Menya must also be arrested. The law says both the receiver and the giver are guilty."

State House director of digital Dennis Itumbi said: "Walter Menya is a great journalist. He writes well and researches his stories. The court gives him a chance to defend himself."

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