It is disaster after disaster for Professor George Magoha.
Indeed, misfortunes never come singly.
Barely three weeks after Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha was accused of demeaning a senior education ministry official Mr. Mbaka Gitonga, his bodyguard is also on the spot for assaulting and inappropriately touching two journalists during the live coverage of the CS’s visit to Kosawo Primary School located in Kisumu.
The officer, whose name is yet to be provided, is accused of assaulting a Daily Nation photographer.
According to The Standard, the bodyguard reportedly grabbed the journalist by his genitals after the scribe accidentally bumped into him while taking shots of the CS.
A statement recorfed by the Kisumu Journalist Network (KJN), signed by the union’s chairman Rushdie Oudia; the bodyguard in question also grabbed another female journalist during the same event.
The union reported that the officer grabbed the female journalist’s hindquarters before trashing her to the side when he was making way for the CS. She is currently attached to a mainstream media house- People Daily.
The journalists were part of a group of reporters and photographers who were covering CS Magoha’s tour of Vihiga and Kisumu county schools to assess the project bordering on the delivery of desks to the various institutions.
The most intriguing part is the fact that this is not the first time the CS’s personal aide has been accused of harassing journalists.
He is also accused of allegedly inserting his finger in the mouth of another journalist in Vihiga County.
The KJN has condemned the unethical acts of the officer saying his actions are “brazenly mutilating the freedom of the media.” How dare he harass media personalities in the presence of the CS?
“Under the current constitution, the police are the National Police Service and no longer a force and therefore should carry out themselves in accordance to their code of ethics and in line with the constitution,” read the statement by KJN.
The network is now pushing for legal action against the officer adding that he will undoubtedly continue “harassing journalists and the public” if left scot-free.
The incident has awakened several ghosts especially for journalists who have been mishandled by government officers while executing their duties in the past.
In March, Mombasa journalists were also harassed by police officers while covering the implementation of the nationwide curfew following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive.
In the video, an officer was seen kicking the journalist—Peter Wainaina— for doing his job a few hours into the curfew.
According to the United Nations, Journalism is one of the dangerous professions in the world. The biennial report also said that in 2018 to 2019, a total 156 journalists were killed worldwide, and over the past decade, a journalist was killed – on average – every four days.
A report by the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)- Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity revealed that only 13 per cent of crimes against journalists in 2020 were reported “as resolved” compared to 12 per cent in 2019.
Unfortunately, 87 per cent of such cases worldwide go resolved according to UNESCO report