On Thursday, March 18, two NTV journalists and a driver were beaten up and denied admission to an Azimio La Umoja demonstration in Dagoretti North, Nairobi County.
News reporter Martin Mwangi, his cameraman Shamanson Osiago, and their driver, Simon Ashiko, were reportedly manhandled by persons claiming to be security agents in charge of maintaining peace and order at the demonstrations.
One of the men claiming to be part of the security detail approached the journalists in a video viewed by Kenyans.co.ke before insisting that the NTV crew leave.
When the security detail accused the journalists of occupying a place assigned for another media outlet, an incident erupted.
The Nation Media Group (NMG), NTV’s parent business, left the protest after the brawl.
NTV criticized the event on its 9 p.m. newscast, saying it would take up the subject with the Azimio La Umoja team.
NTV further stated that it would seek clarification from the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign communication team regarding the “unfortunate” occurrence.
Given the role the media plays during electioneering, the Kimathi Street-based media house remarked that the situation should be addressed seriously.
“We sincerely hope that this occurrence does not occur again. Not just to NTV journalists, but to all members of the media, especially as we get closer to the August 9 elections, “Mark Masai, a journalist with NTV, noted.
Dennis Onsarigo, Raila Odinga’s Press Secretary, apologized on behalf of the Azimio La Umoja team, and promised that the issue will be probed.
He assured that the incident would never happen again, and that journalists covering the Azimio La Umoja demonstrations would be safe.
The event was organized by Nairobi County candidates and led by Edwin Sifuna, the Secretary General of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), to promote Raila Odinga’s presidential campaign. Raila is now on a working trip in the United Kingdom.