President William Ruto

While his Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Moses Kuria, intensifies his assault on journalists, President William Ruto has said publicly that the administration will protect the rights of the media.

Dr. Ruto gave a speech on Wednesday after flagging off this year's Safari Rally in Naivasha. In it, he assured to "do his bit" in safeguarding the media against the unpredictable minister, who is currently on a tear ever since the Nation Media Group revealed an exposé on the edible oils scandal that has purportedly cost the government billions of dollars. Ruto's comments came after the Safari Rally was kicked off.

"We have to uphold the media; we must safeguard their right to criticise and to say whatever it is that they are inclined to say, even if it is propaganda," added the president.

"We must preserve their right to say whatever it is that they need to say, regardless of whether it is propaganda."

On the other hand, in the same breath, President Ruto supported Moses Kuria by adding that the media must likewise be prepared to be condemned when individuals speak out.

"I saw a newspaper report saying that the President ought to safeguard us from Moses Kuria; that's fine; I will do my bit; but I want to ask these individuals who will be there to defend me from rogue media because I go through hell all the time," Ruto put as a question to the audience.

"I want to ask them who is supposed to protect me from rogue media because I go through hell all the time."

Before delivering a roadside proclamation directing government agencies to cease advertising with the media house, the Trade CS began his assaults on Nation Media Group (NMG), its owner, and journalists by condemning them as "an opposition party."

If the government agencies did not stop marketing with the media house, the Trade Minister threatened to fire them.

It would seem that he was reacting to a report that was published by NMG over the weekend that detailed an oil scam that was supposedly organised by his government.

In the immediate aftermath of his speech, he took to Twitter to refer to the journalists working for the media firm as "prostitutes." This infuriated a great number of Kenyans, who thought the remark was excessively demeaning and childish.

The Kenya Journalists Union, the Kenya Editors Guild, the Civil Society, and even Deputy President Rigathi and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi have all spoken out against his assaults and called for their condemnation.


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