Nation journalist arrested as water wars in Murang’a escalate
Nation journalist Ndung’u Gachane was arrested Thursday outside Murang’a Water and Sanitation Company (Muwasco) offices while taking photographs of police officers manning the gate.
Mr Gachane was arrested after Muwasco workers accused him of biased reporting of the wrangles between Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and tycoon Peter Munga over the management of the water company.
The Daily Nation on Thursday published a front page story by the journalist titled, In Murang’a, a battle of egos pits Wa Iria, Munga.
This, it seems, did not go down well with Muwasco workers.
“I arrived at the Muwasco offices at 9:50 am but was met by hostile police officers. I think they were acting on someone’s orders because the water company want stories written in a manner favouring them,” he said.
The officers were providing security to employees of the water company who had been locked out of their offices after the county government dumped sand and stones at the gate, barring them from entering.
The Murang’a-based correspondent was roughed up and lost his wallet which had Sh4,500
The journalist was released after the intervention of the County AP commander Mohammed Farah.
“Even after identifying myself as a journalist they attacked me and handcuffed me. I recorded a statement at the Murang’a Police Station and I hope that action will be taken,” he said.
The journalist sustained injuries to his arm and thigh and was treated at the Murang’a County Referral Hospital.
Mr Munga moved to the Labour Court to stop his replacement as chairman by Mr Wa Iria. The governor wanted to replace Mr Munga with Prof Joseph Kimura as chairman of Muwasco.
Justice Byram Ongaya suspended Governor Wa Iria’s appointment and ruled that Mr Munga should continue as chairman.