Po­lice, goons in­jure re­porters in CSO protest

The Star (Kenya) - - News - PATRICK VIDIJA @vidi­jap­atrick

Anti-riot po­lice and goons yes­ter­day turned on jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing a civil so­ci­ety demon­stra­tion against pos­si­ble loss of money at the Min­istry of Health.

A leaked in­terim in­ter­nal audit queried how Sh5.2 bil­lion was spent, say­ing it was un­ac­counted for. How­ever, CS Cleopa Mailu said the amount in ques­tion was Sh3.1 bil­lion and it was prop­erly used.

Po­lice fired tear­gas and fired shots at a group, in­clud­ing five lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ists, fol­low­ing or­ders from a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer from Kil­i­mani sta­tion – Ron­ald Ngau. Jour­nal­ists picked a car­tridge but it was not known if the rounds were live.

Civil so­ci­ety groups had as­sem­bled at Free­dom Corner in Uhuru Park for a pro­ces­sion to present a pe­ti­tion at State House.

West TV jour­nal­ist Den­nis Omondi was beaten by of­fi­cers who tried to grab his cam­era. Other jour­nal­ists protested the ha­rass­ment, but Ngau was whisked away in a po­lice car.

As the po­lice dis­persed, a gang of about 30 men con­fronted the jour­nal­ists and tried to take their valu­ables as uni­formed GSU of­fi­cers stood by and cheered.

One jour­nal­ist’s cam­era was bro­ken be­fore AP of­fi­cers in­ter­vened and ar­rested two of the goons.

The civil so­ci­ety groups, led by Boni­face Mwangi and Kenya Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion deputy di­rec­tor Davis Malombe, de­manded the sack­ing of state and pub­lic of­fi­cers men­tioned in cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

/ PATRICK VIDIJA

Pho­tog­ra­pher Evans Ha­bil ar­gues with Kil­i­mani OCS Ron­ald Ngau af­ter he or­dered jour­nal­ists to be tear­gased to bar them from cov­er­ing protests yes­ter­day

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