CASE WITH MEDIA COUNCIL

Meru staffer out on bail over threat to Nation journalist

Writer Muchui threatened with dire consequences after publishing a story about Governor Kiraitu

Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Marvin Kimathi alias Marvo Mzito
Image by COURTESY
In Summary

• Kiraitu's member of staff was arrested for threatening a Meru-based journalist.

A Meru county government member of staff was arrested on Tuesday for threatening a journalist.

Marvin Kimathi, aka Marvo Mzito, was locked up at Meru police station. The staffer was later released on police bail.

He allegedly threatened Nation Media journalist David Muchui with dire consequences after he published a story on Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

 

Muchui had reported that Kiraitu was wooing Chinese investors with free land as part of efforts to attract investment in agribusiness and the hospitality industry.

The county, he wrote, was also helping foreign investors to acquire licences to fast-track the establishment of processing plants.

In a “War Council" WhatsApp group, Marvo allegedly rallied members to harm Muchui.

A whistle-blower claimed Marvo rallied his colleagues to physically harm the reporter. Muchui’s photograph was to be photoshopped to portray him in a compromising position.

Chief of staff Gideon Kimathi called the journalist over the issue, asking if the matter had been solved. But Muchui said Marvo never officially apologised to him.

He said he is ready to forgive him if he apologises. The matter has been taken up by the Media Council of Kenya.

In December, Meru journalists protested against threats to their colleagues by county employees. In January, Kiraitu convened a meeting with all journalists and promised that they would not be threatened. He said disciplinary action would be taken against those who attack journalists.

Sources said North Imenti DCIO James Githinji had been called by a top county official over the arrest but details were not revealed to journalists.

Meru county police commander Patrick Lumumba told journalists in his office that cybercrime offences involve thorough investigations. He did not want to jeopardise investigations.

He said it is not good to preempt charges against the county officer.

On Tuesday evening, Muchui and some of his colleagues were briefed by Meru OCS Justus Motonu over the arrest. 

"This matter is beyond me after it landed at NMG and MCK. A letter was written to the Inspector General of the police," Muchui said.

The letter was also to be sent to the regional commander, the county commander and then the OCPD. The police were required to give feedback to the IG and the MCK.