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Kenya Union of Journalists to appeal jail sentence on Tuko scribe

The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) will appeal a judgment by a Nairobi court to jail a journalist for publishing a misleading article.

Didacus Malowa, an editor attached to the TUKO website was slapped with a six-month jail by Nairobi Principal Magistrate Eunice Nyutu. He was also handed an option of paying a Sh50,000 fine for publishing the article that touched on the ongoing National Youth Service (NYS) graft case.

But in a statement, KUJ secretary general Erick Oduor said that while the union respects the decision of the court, the decisions have far-reaching consequences on the country’s governance, especially in the fight against corruption.

“While we respect the decision of the court, such retrogressive decisions have far-reaching consequences to the country’s governance, especially in the fight against corruption, which is at the centre of this matter,” said Mr Oduor.

He added that the law provides for a mechanism for parties to seek redress in the event they are aggrieved by the work of journalists to protect the Fourth Estate from such assault.

“Jailing a journalist in the 21st Century is not only an assault on freedom of the media, which is well guarded by the constitution but a blow to the quest for a just society.”

From the ruling, the Senior Principal Magistrate had sentenced the editor in his capacity as an editor as well as in his personal capacity.

The magistrate had said in her ruling that the punishment was to act as a deterrent to other journalists, editors and media houses against publishing misleading articles.

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