MP demands state security for journalists
Posted Monday, July 9 2012 at 17:50
An MP has demanded immediate state protection for Kenya’s three investigative journalists.
Ms Rachel Shebesh (ODM Nominated) on Monday said John Allan Namu of Nation Media Group and Mohammed Ali and Mr Dennis Onsarigo of The Standard Group must be provided with security as a matter of urgency.
The MP, whose security was beefed up two weeks ago after she said she has a dossier about the death of Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode, says she is now worried for the three journalists whose investigative insights on some of the country’s most scandalous issues have caused a stir.
She also wants the same treatment accorded to former police officer Mr Richard Nerima.
NTV’s Allan Namu’s latest investigative piece is on Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga’s alleged presence in Kenya.
For their part, Mr Ali and Mr Onsarigo have recently delved into the illicit drug trafficking business in Kenya and made damning claims of high connections involved in the trade.
Before they took a one month recess ten days ago, MPs alleged foul play in the death of the death of Prof Saitoti and Mr Ojode in a tragic helicopter crash which they linked to drug cartels.
Ms Shebesh had said in Parliament that she has a damning dossier and proposed for the formation of a select committee of Parliament to investigate the deaths of the ministers.
The ODM Nominated MP said she has a lot of information which she can only give under the safety of a Select Committee of Parliament, information she said “could be, in short, a thing that can shut down this Government.”
She said the matters were highly sensitive because of threats to people’s lives.
“I can assure you that we have notice and said a third of what we know was behind the deaths of our two colleagues and some of the information we are getting is worrying,” she said to Parliament following a charged discussion on drug trafficking in Kenya.
On Monday, Ms Shebesh confirmed that she had been assigned three GSU officers from the Recce squad after National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende ruled that she be accorded security of her choice.
However, she said she is worried for the three journalists.
“I am compelled by my conscience and experiences over the last two weeks since my remarks on the floor of the House to now demand state protection for two journalists namely Mohammed Ali and Dennis Onsarigo who have on account of their investigative exposes on sensitive national issues sought police protection since 2008 in vain,” she said.
“For the sake of posterity and in honour of other brave security officers and well-meaning Kenyans who have died under mysterious circumstances, I remain firm in my resolve to contribute, however minutely, to the stopping of orchestrated extra judicial killings,” she stated.
“I plead with a sense of urgency that such protection is granted to former police officer Richard Nerima and journalist Allan Namu in light of his recent investigative insights on Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga’s presence in Kenya,” she stated.
She said the Attorney General, the Kenya Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions have a responsibility of protecting patriotic citizens.
She accused the state of paying lip service to witness protection, letting forces of impunity to reign.