‘I will not apologise’ – Moses Kuria says over media slur

Written by on 21 June 2023

Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has remained adamant that he will not apologise over a slur directed at the Nation Media Group (NMG).

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, Kuria said that he has a “rich” media background, hence he fully understood the industry.

“I am not apologising. I have been a media owner before. I have been a writer in your newspapers. There is nobody who is pro-media more than me. But I know the difference between media and what Thomas (Stanley) Baldwin called the prerogative of the harlot, the exercise of power without responsibility,” Kuria stated.

Kuria has been under fire from media stakeholders since Sunday after announcing sanctions against the NMG, vowing to deny them advertisements from the government.

“Nation Media, you must now decide whether you are a newspaper, broadcasting house, media house or a political party. I have said, from tomorrow, from today even, any government department found placing advertising in Nation Media Group, consider yourself out (of government),” Kuria said on Sunday.

Later in a tweet, Kuria made derogatory remarks against NMG journalists, which have sparked a debate across social media and media stakeholders including journalists, editors, media owners and civil society groups.

Kuria unfit to hold office?

The Kenya Media Sector Working Group has vowed to move to court seeking a declaration that the Cabinet Secretary is not fit to hold public office.

Civil society groups including Haki Afrika, Women Defenders Hub, Usalama Reform Forum, Transparency International, Kenya Human Rights Commission and Kariobangi Paralegal Network have also joined the fray demanding Kuria’s resignation.

“As organisations dedicated to upholding human rights and promoting social justice, we firmly denounce any form of government interference or intimidation against the media houses. Such actions undermine the democratic fabric of our nation, erode public access to information and hinder the advancement of a truly inclusive and informed society,” the groups said in a joint statement.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has also issued a notice of motion to censure Kuria over his remarks.

“Concerned that the CS for Investment, Trade and Industry whose reckless tongue has now reached an unmatched level of infamy, and whose divisive, abusive and demeaning rhetoric continues to cause consternation,” reads part of the motion.

Sifuna wants the Senate to find Kuria unfit to hold public office, adding that he should not hold the office of high calling at the level of a Cabinet Secretary.

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