Lusaka's bodyguards beat up journalist for airing 'bad' stories

Royal Media journalist Namisi Cheptai covers clashes that broke out between supporters of Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka and Ford Kenya's Wycliffe Wangamati, June 2, 2017. /BRIAN OJAMAA
Royal Media journalist Namisi Cheptai covers clashes that broke out between supporters of Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka and Ford Kenya's Wycliffe Wangamati, June 2, 2017. /BRIAN OJAMAA

A Royal Media journalist is nursing minor injuries on his face and head after he was assaulted by Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka's bodyguards on Monday evening.

Emmanuel Namisi was with another colleague at a club in Bungoma when Lusaka's security team led by former KDF officer Kisaka Mufutu attacked him.

Namisi said Kisaka confronted him at the club demanding to know why he aired a story accusing one of Lusaka's bodyguards of killing a woman during a chaotic rally in Bungoma town last Friday.

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The woman, identified as Kadogo, was killed by a stray bullet when supporters of Lusaka and Ford Kenya's Wycliffe Wangamati clashed.

Ken Kisa, a bodyguard to deputy Governor Hillary Chongwony, was late arrested in connection with the incident.

But Lusaka's guards descended on Namisi with kicks and blows as they accused him of writing and airing negative stories about the county boss.

"You have really been on our necks and we are tired of you. You aired and we left you scot-free; this one we will not, we are going to handle you," Kisaka said.

Namisi recorded a statement at Bungoma police station and is receiving treatment at the county referral hospital.

His lawyer Amos Makokha condemned the incident and asked police to arrest the bodyguards.

"We cannot have our scribes, who are playing the role of watchdog and pointing out the ills in Lusaka's regime, being threatened with murder and beaten," he said.

Lusaka termed the incident unfortunate, adding he had reprimanded the bodyguards.

"I was told about the incident and felt very bad. I don't condone physical violence, I don't know what exactly provoked that but I have cautioned all my staff against such behaviour," the Governor told The Star on phone.