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Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Kenya

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1999
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Kenya, February 1999, available at: [accessed 25 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

As of December 31, 1998

Independent news coverage could have served a crucial role as the parliament passed a constitution review bill at year's end that reportedly could curb the power of the presidency, and which may have far-reaching effects long after President Daniel arap Moi's current term expires in 2003. But instead, the independent print media were hobbled by limitations on press freedom long familiar to Kenya's journalists. Bans and arbitrary detentions continued throughout the year, and a compromised judiciary routinely handed down defamation convictions and restraining orders in response to broadcasts and articles the courts deemed to be defamatory.

Local journalists said that restrictions on the press allowed corrupt practices by government officials to go unreported and therefore unchecked. In July, when Patrick Mayoyo, a reporter for the leading daily newspaper Nation, broke a story on kickbacks in the customs department that led to the arrests of high-ranking officials, he received threats and was followed. On November 10, Bernard Liru, a correspondent with the privately owned East African Standard, died from injuries sustained in a suspicious automobile crash after he had published a story reporting on government administrators' graft and malfeasance involving the Mumias Sugar Company. The circumstances of the crash led local journalists to call for an official investigation into Liru's death.

In December, the government allocated radio and television frequencies to the Nation Media Group, ending a seven-year ordeal for the country's leading private media company, which had been kept out of broadcasting by the government monopoly. The government began selectively distributing private broadcasting licenses in 1996 to applicants linked to the ruling Kenya Africa National Union and to stations without news programming.

Attacks on the Press in Kenya in 1998

10/2/98Blamuel Njururi, Kenya ConfidentialHarassed
7/16/98Njehu Gatabaki, FinanceCensored
7/16/98Finance Institute LimitedCensored
7/10/98AImanene Imathiu, NationAttacked
7/8/98Tony Gachoka, Post on SundayHarassed
7/1/98Francis Wanderi, The StarLegal Action
7/1/98Magayu Magayu, The StarLegal Action
7/1/98Kamau Ngotho, The StarLegal Action
7/1/98The StarLegal Action
6/29/98Magayu Magayu, The StarLegal Action
6/29/98Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Star Publishers Ltd.Legal Action
4/17/98FinanceLegal Action, Censored
4/17/98Njehu Gatabaki, FinanceLegal Action
4/17/98Finance JournalLegal Action, Censored
4/17/98Finance Institute LimitedLegal Action, Censored
4/17/98The DispatchLegal Action, Censored
3/31/98TargetLegal Action
3/31/98The StarHarassed
Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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