By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
Daily Nation, Kenya’s number one daily newspaper on Wednesday came under fire from its readers over its headline on the arrest of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
The headline “How Mwilu finally fell” left readers questioning Nation Media Group’s supposed independence, the caliber and integrity of its editors.
Even before today’s headline, two of the newspaper’s senior editors Executive Editor daily editions Mutuma Mathiu and Investigations editor John Kamau had written an ‘expose’ the previous day indicating that a Supreme Court judge was set to be arrested.
In spite of the fact that there is a clear process of removing a judge from office and editors at Nation Media Group the country’s leading media company should know better.
Article 168 of the Constitution of Kenya spells out below how a judge can be removed from office:
1. Judicial Service Commission (JSC) own motion/ petition to the JSC
2. JSC when satisfied sends petition to the President.
3. President shall form a tribunal within 14 days.
4. Judge suspended
And following the arrest of Justice Mwilu they came up with the headline “How Mwilu finally fell.”
Kenyans on Facebook and Twitter expressed their outrage. Below are some of their views as captured by Daily Reporter.
Meanwhile, reports from Nation Centre, the headquarters of His Highness The Aga Khan owned media group indicates that the Executive Editor in charge of weekend editions Eric Obino has resigned.
Mr Obino is said to have resigned after he ran a picture in the Sunday Nation that allegedly showed Deputy President William Ruto and controversial sugar baron Jaswant Rai together in a function.
It later emerged the businessman of Asian origin with the DP Ruto was not the controversial sugar baron.
While traditional news reporting is losing its relevance, serious investigation now requires more than basic journalistic skills. To do this we require a lot of resources.
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Nelson Mandela once said: “A critical, independent, and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”
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