Kenya Media Sector Working Group photo
Kenya Media Sector Working Group

The Kenya Media Sector Working Group has said that they have information that shows preparations are being made to shut down broadcast media and internet services before the planned protests against the government on Monday.

Churchill Otieno, the head of the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG), made these allegations at a media briefing that he gave on Sunday.

He said that there are plans to shut down the media and the internet and put the country in "information darkness."

Mr Otieno said that the supposed action would put the country in a dangerous situation.

"We have heard allegations that there are intentions to take down the broadcast media and the internet and put the nation into informational darkness ahead of tomorrow's rallies," said the spokesperson.

According to Mr Otieno, "This will be the most ill-advised attack on Kenyan democracy since it denies the public their right to knowledge."

"In other words, the people will be denied their right to access information."

The KEG leader continued by stating that any attempt to prevent the mainstream press from doing its job of informing the public would be illegal and that the public has a legal right to receive information from the media.

He went on to say that there are plans to attack journalists who are reporting on the protests and that more journalists will be attacked in the not-too-distant future.

"However, we are very worried about the rise in attacks, both online and offline, that is unfairly aimed at professional journalists doing their jobs," he said.

"This indicates that over 20 attack incidents have been previously disclosed since the mass protests started," he said.

"Even though it is very important to make sure that journalists are safe, a working group on the Kenyan digital economy has learned that law enforcement is chasing after an increasing number of journalists," the group said.

So, he said he didn't agree with the attacks and asked the appropriate agencies to look into what happened and bring the people responsible to justice.

He went on to say, "We want the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspector General of the Police, and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to make sure that anyone who hurts or threatens reporters will be held accountable through full, effective, and fair investigations."

In a statement, they said, "We ask them to put the criminals in jail and make sure that the victims can get proper repairs and monetary compensation."

The Kenya Media Sector Working Group is made up of journalists and stakeholders from 17 different organisations that represent Kenyan correspondents engaged in print, broadcast, and digital media.

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