Magoha’s bodyguard in trouble over claims of sexually assaulting journalists
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has demanded immediate action against Education CS George Magoha’s bodyguard for allegedly sexually harassing and threatening two journalists in Kisumu on Thursday.
MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo said the matter was embarrassing and saddening and asked the authorities to invesrigate the claims and take legal action against the said bodyguard.
Omwoyo urged security officers handling the country’s VIPs to respect journalists and accord them freedom to do their work.
“We urge the VIP security detail to respect Journalists as they are just doing their job by asking questions, they are not attacking the VIPs you are guarding. These journalists are not armed,” said Mr Omwoyo.
The MCK boss was speaking on Friday in Lodwar during a training workshop for county communication officers and journalists by the council.
The incident is said to have occurred on Thursday when Prof Magoha was inspecting desks at Kosawo Primary School in Kisumu and one journalist bumped into the bodyguard while struggling to take the best pictures of the CS with the pupils.
“Nation Media Group Photographer Ondari Ogega accidentally bumped into the said officer whose identity is not known and even apologised. However, as he made his way out of the classroom, the CS’s bodyguard followed him and reached for his fly before squeezing his genitals and threatening to do more outside the classroom,” said Kisumu Journalists Network (KJN) chairman Rushdie Oudia.
The bodyguard also grabbed Viola Kosoma’s backside and pushed her to give way for the CS.
The same officer, whose face has been captured by some of the journalists, is said to have harassed another journalist in Vihiga by inserting his fingers into the reporter’s mouth.
“The incidents have not only instilled fear among the journalists, but also amounts to sexual assault and suppression of the freedom of the press as enshrined in Articles 33 and 34 of the Kenyan Constitution,” Oudia added.
The incidents come days after the Media Council of Kenya released a report that found that 62 per cent of journalists have either experienced sexual harassment or know someone who has, either while working at their organisations or in the field.
The study titled Press Freedom Violations during COVID-19 further revealed that 73 per cent of female journalists are highly likely to experience sexual harassment while on assignments.