•The Standard journalist Moses Nyamori was roughed up and assaulted by known Chungwa House security men.
•In the melee, Star journalist Luke Awich was also roughed up and his phone’s screen smashed.
Two journalists were on Thursday roughed up by a group of goons during a meeting convened by Azimio Presidential aspirant Raila Odinga at Chungwa House.
The Standard journalist Moses Nyamori was roughed up and assaulted by known Chungwa House security men in what is believed to have a connection with a story that did not sit well with the party’s big guns.
The well-built men under the command of Chungwa House head of security Benard Kadundo roughed up the reporter and physically ejected him out of Chungwa House where Raila was receiving Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku who was decamping to the Orange Party from Jubilee.
In the melee, Star journalist Luke Awich was also roughed up and his phone’s screen smashed.
The goons demanded that the journalists get out of the spot where they were listening to the speakers at the function attended by party leader Raila.
The scribes identified themselves as journalists but the security team insisted that they leave.
It was at this point that two of the security officials roughed them up before frog matching Nyamori out of the premises.
Nyamori’s shirt and jacket were torn in the skirmish.
After intervention by some party officials to have Nyamori back to the function, the matter worsened again when the two well-built men for a second time confronted the scribes and crashed Awich’s phone in the process.
In what appeared to be a well-scripted assault, the goons camouflaging as security men laid siege at the gate waiting for the journalists forcing Nyamori to seek refuge in ODM Chairman John Mbadi’s car.
Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Union of Journalists (KuJ) condemned the incident demanding the arrests of the culprits who remains at large.
MCK CEO David Omwoyo called Raila to disown the unfortunate incident against media and commit to non-interference in the work of media workers in all its activities.
“The two journalists were singled out days after stories published under their bylines on Thursday, 17th March 2022 attracted verbal attacks and threats from specific party officials who had been quoted in the story,” Omwoyo said in a statement to newsrooms.
KUJ boss Eric Oduor condemned the ugly incident and called on the police to expedite investigations on the matter and have the culprits face the law.
“We condemn the attacks, which left Standard reporter Moses Nyamori injured and we demand that the hooligans who believe that assaulting journalists is the only way to express their misguided frustrations are identified and handed over to police by the conveners of today's news event immediately,” Oduor said in a statement to newsrooms.
“We will hold conveners of press conferences and organisers of political rallies liable should journalists be attacked in the line of duty. No amount of harassment and intimidation will stop journalists from carrying out their duty professionally in line with the code of conduct that guides their work.”
The attack come days after the reporter carried a story on the party’s plan to issue direct tickets to selected people even after receiving nominations fee from hundreds of aspirants.
The story did not sit well with the party honchos who resorted to verbal insults.
On Thursday, ODM through his Secretary of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi condemned the incident and promised to escalate the matter with the party’s top leadership.
“We apologise profusely and we are going to deal with the matter,” Wandayi told the journalists.
According to the story published on the Star on Thursday titled ‘shocker for ODM aspirants as the party starts issuing direct ticket’, Mumma had told the reporter of plans to issue direct party tickets to popular aspirants.
In the story, ODM was basing the decision on an outcome of scientific opinion polls that had already been conducted.
This is not the first time goons are attacking journalists at ODM functions, in 2017 Citizen TV journalist Francis Gachuri was assaulted by goons during a meeting called by the National Super Alliance (Nasa) at the Wiper headquarters in Nairobi.