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KENYA: High Court bars police from arresting NMG journalists

Friday February 2, 2018

NTV Kenya General Manager Linus Kaikai (right) and journalists Larry Madowo (centre) and Ken Mijungu during an interview on Thursday morning. The three journalists spent the night at Nation Center to avoid arrest. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI

The High Court has barred police from arresting NMG journalists Linus Kaikai, Larry Madowo and Ken Mijungu.

Justice Luka Kimaru has granted them anticipatory bail of Sh100,000 each.

But he also directed them to present themselves with their lawyers at the DCI headquarters at 2pm on Monday.


The three moved to court on Thursday to stop the government from effecting their arrest and prosecution.

Through lawyer Stephen Gitonga, the three sued the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Inspector-General of Police.

They claimed that police have laid siege to Nation Media Group’s head office on Kimathi Street.


They also claimed after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said that the police were looking into the “role of some elements in the media fraternity who participated in the furtherance of an attempt to subvert or overthrow the government”, Nation Centre has been under surveillance and police have been asking about them.

“That the reasonable inference is that the police want to arrest the trio [and] the intended arrests are not in the ordinary course of criminal justice process,” said Mr Gitonga.


Mr Gitonga argued that the three journalists have not been formally summoned hence the intended arrest is a violation of their rights.

In the suit documents, Mr Kaikai said he was informed by reporters that a number of people have been asking about him and where his office is located in the building.

He also said he spotted plain clothes police officers surrounding his vehicle at the basement car park.

“I therefore genuinely believe that there is an intention to arrest and detain me in police custody in relation to my work as a journalist and thereafter be charged with a false offence of incitement,” said Mr Kaikai.


According to the three journalists, they have not committed any offence and have performed their duties diligently and within the law. They said they have also practised principles of ethical journalism.

On Wednesday, human rights crusaders and journalists rushed to the Nation Media Group headquarters after word went round that police were waiting to arrest Mr Kaikai, Mr Madowo and Mr Mijungu.

They are suspected to be some of the media employees targeted by the police for undisclosed reasons, following a directive from the Interior CS that police would arrest some people for their role in the ‘swearing-in’ of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga took his 'oath' on Tuesday at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.


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