The Kenya Editors' Guild on Wednesday condemned the emerging trend where people working for powerful forces in politics and administration have attacked journalists to intimidate them with the aim of stopping them from doing their job.
Their statement comes after a news source, Sharon Otieno and Nation journalist Barrack Oduor were abducted in Migori County on Monday.
Ms Otieno's body was found dumped near a thicket in Homa Bay County on Tuesday night.
“Ms Otieno met her attackers while in the process of giving information to Oduor, a journalist who was doing his job as a matter of professional and civic duty. We convey our deep condolences to her family and pray that the Almighty grants them the fortitude to overcome this great loss. But most important, we call upon the relevant agencies in the criminal justice system to pursue the people responsible for this heinous crime,” said the guild’s chairman, Churchill Otieno, in a statement.
Mr Otieno recollected that only a few days ago, there were unwarranted attacks on journalists in Murang’a and Mombasa counties.
“Security and safety of journalists is key for an effective and independent media capable of serving the public interest,” he pointed out, reiterating that authorities should move with speed to pursue, arrest and bring to book the people responsible for the abduction and murder of Sharon and attempted murder of Oduor.
"Journalists’ work is protected under the Constitution of Kenya anyone holding grievances against the media or journalists should use appropriate and sufficient legal ways of seeking redress, which include petitioning the Complaints Commission at the Media Council of Kenya," he added.
Mr Otieno stated that attacking and intimidating the media and journalists is unacceptable and unconstitutional.
Mr Oduor and Ms Otieno were abducted by masked assailants, on Monday night in Migori, with the journalist however, managing to escape with injuries and seeking help in a nearby homestead.
The late Ms Otieno, who was however not lucky, was found murdered and her body dumped in Kodera Forest in Kasipul, Homa Bay County the following day.
Detectives on Tuesday arrested Michael Oyamo, the personal assistant of Migori Governor Okoth Obado, in connection with the abduction of the two, and consequent demise of the 26-year-old, second-year university student at Rongo University.