Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba has condemned attacks meted on a journalist at one of ODM leader Raila Odinga’s rallies in western.
The journalist, Moses Masinde, was beaten during the process and his camera damaged as he covered dissenting views about the Raila tour.
Ababu who resigned from h is post citing frustration from a section of ODM leaders, said the attack was executed by the infamous men in black.
“His camera was destroyed and footage confiscated by the Men-in-Black criminal gang that also infamously disrupted the party elections at Kasarani,” he said.
He said the goons, who caused chaos at Kasarani during the party’s national executive council election in February 28, 2014, must be held responsible.
“I condemn the beastly assault of the journalist by the despicable armed goons who accompanied Raila to Budalang’i,” Namwamba said.
Namwamba said the journalist only took views of Budalang’i residents expressing their true feelings.
“This is something that obviously ran contrary to the careful script of imported crowds and hired cheering squad,” the legislator said.
“Intimidation never wins the hearts and minds of the people. Violence, hate and bile cannot capture power in a democracy,” Namwamba added.
The MP said it was quite telling that instead of condemning the ‘stone-age jungle conduct’, ODM officials have instead spewed more insults and threats against journalists covering their ‘firefighting mission in Western Kenya’.
Noting that Kenyans cherish peace and harmonious coexistence, the Budalang’i MP asked ODM to convey their message peacefully.
“Journalists do not create news. They simply report what is. And pictures/footage don’t lie,” he added.
Kenya Union of Journalists secretary general Erick Oduor told police to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book within shortest time possible.
Political Journalists Association of Kenya (PJAK), in a statement, asked political leaders to restrain their supporters from intimidating the media and or journalists “over unqualified public perceptions that reporters have nothing to do about,”.
But ODM director of communications Philip Etale told off Namwamba and asked him to produce evidence of chaos in Budalang’i.
“Kindly produce pictures of the residents purportedly injured in Budalang’i Mheshimiwa or you stop creating stories,” he said via Facebook on Friday.
“Why wasn’t that shown in the media. There’s nowhere in any medium where it is reported that residents were assaulted,” Etale said.