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Journalist harassed, camera confiscated while covering funeral

Journalists  working in Baringo pose at the Kabarnet Police Station after they had marched in solidarity protesting a summon served on one of their colleagues who had been directed to record a statement over a political story he had filed. Photo by KNA.

Cases of harassment to journalists seems to be on increase as we approach the 2022 elections after yet another journalist was reportedly harassed in Baringo County.

Joseph Kangogo who  works with Radio Africa Group as a correspondent in Baringo claimed he was harassed, intimidated and his camera confiscated as he covered the funeral of Isaac Cherogony, husband to the Baringo County Women Representative, Gladwel Cheruiyot.

He cites the politician’s aide named John Kulei and the Kiambu Women Representative, Gathoni Wamuchomba  who confiscated his camera and forced him to delete the photos they believed he had taken.

“I arrived at the funeral a bit late and went straight to the grave yard where the final rites were taking place, but as I was preparing to take a shot from my camera, a man named Brian approached me questioning as to why I was taking a photo,” narrated Kangogo while recording the incident at the Baringo North Sub-County headquarters in Kabartonjo.

According to the journalist, the Kiambu politician joined the argument and demanded that he deletes the photos he had taken.

“I tried to explain to them even to the extent of showing them the images on my camera but they could not listen to my pleas. The aide took my camera and handed it to Brian who happens to be the late Cheruiyot’s son,” added the correspondent.

The journalist says he had to get out of the compound and hide in the vehicles as he feared being assaulted or marked by the residents.

“I have reported the matter with the Media Council of Kenya and the police and I am waiting for their direction on the matter,” said the journalist.

The funeral was characterized with tension as the deceased succumbed to covid-19 and was interred by public health officers from Baringo County who were dressed in full Personal Protective Equipment.

The incident comes just a fortnight after another journalist was asked to record a statement with the police over a story he had filed in the past.

Evans  Kimaiyo who corresponds for Royal Media joins a list of journalists who have reported harassment while on their line of duty.

Tom  Chepsoi of Kass Media also adds to the list after he was manhandled by security officers while covering a function attended by the Deputy President in Marigat last year.

He reported the matter to the Media Council and says no communication was made over the incident after that.

Cases of attacks on members of the fourth estate seems to be rising unabated in the country with some even succumbing to the injuries inflicted on them.

By  Christopher  Kiprop

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