September 25th 2017

Top Stories / National

Senator and lobby group condemn arrest of journalist Walter Menya

He defended Bunge La Wazalendo saying it is a public forum of ordinary citizens that voluntary converge in small but orderly groups to discuss current affairs around the junction of Wabera and Mama Ngina streets within the city centre.

By Liza Makenalmakena@kenyafreepress.comTuesday, 20 Jun 2017 17:42 EAT

Walter Menya when he was arraigned at the Milimani Law Court yesterday.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior and the Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG) today joined the chorus of condemnation following the arrest and detention of Daily Nation investigative journalist Walter Menya over bribery allegations.

Meanwhile, Mr Menya was released at 4pm today after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered his release. Mr Kilonzo demanded that Menya’s accusers should be prosecuted as well the two are guilty of Election Offence Act.

‘’The offense of bribery against Walter Menya falls under the Election Offence Act. The bribe giver and bribe taker ought to have taken a plea and remanded in custody as the investigations proceed. I expect the bribe giver to be charged today and if it fails then Walter has no case to answer,” he said in a post in his Facebook page.

CSRG Convener Suba Churchill expressed concern with the arrest and detention of Menya on account of a story that was published by the Sunday Nation of June 18 2017.

“It is obvious that Menya has to do with his expose in which senior government officials have violated laws regulating the conduct of public and state officers to register an NGO in the name of Friends of Jubilee Foundation to further the political interests of a section of the political elite.

“Menya arrest comes within days after the police officers based at International Life House lobbed tear gas and brutally dispersed members of Bunge la Wazalendo on Thursday June 15 2017”, he said in a statement.

He defended Bunge la Wazalendo saying it is a public forum of ordinary citizens that voluntary converge in small but orderly groups to discuss current affairs around the junction of Wabera and Mama Ngina streets within the city Centre. He noted the group has been peaceful, exercising their constitutional and democratic rights to freedom of expression, association and of assembly as protected in Articles 33, 36 and 37 of the Bill of rights in the constitution.

Mr Suba said arrest of Menya and attempts go scandalize him by alleging that he attempted to solicit a tribe is part of increased acts of intolerance and unfair administrative actions that the government seems to have resorted to in a feckless bid to intimidate the media at this critical point in time when Kenyans should be enjoying greater openness and access to information they require to make informed choices during forthcoming general elections.

“The CSRG demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Walter Menya and calls on the Ministry of the Interior to remove police officers who are deployed on a daily basis at the junction of Wabera and Mama Ngina streets to harass Nairobians going about their daily hustles.

He said the Ministry of interior cannot conceal ignorance about its association with the controversial and recently registered Friends of Jubilee Foundation when it is the parent ministry of the NGO coordination Board that registered the outfit.

Looking at the developments in consideration, he noted, one now begins to understand why NGO Coordination Board was transferred from the Ministry of Devolution and Planning to that of Interior and why the government has been protecting the Boards Executive Director Fazul Mohammed even after it was established that he lacks the academic qualifications to head the institution.

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