Media Council Of Kenya Says Journalists Seeking Elective Positions ‘Must Step Aside’

Written by on 4 February 2022

Journalists seeking any elective position in the August general elections are required to tender their resignations, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has said.

MCK, in a statement released on Thursday, advised active journalists intending to transition into politics to step down as part of adhering to the code of conduct governing the council.

The council explained that it was the duty of any practicing journalist bound by the Media Council Act to vacate office to avoid acting contrary to the provisions of the law.

“Pursuant to section 6 (k) of the Media Council Act, 2013 the Council advises that any person subject to the Media Council Act who becomes a political candidate or intends to be employed or campaign for a particular political party must step aside from journalistic practice,” said MCK CEO David Omwoyo.

Omwoyo noted that the provision was necessary to curb misuse of offices and resources by media personnel to popularize themselves politically and gain an edge over their competitors.

“Following our continued media monitoring, it has been established that some journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises are contravening this provision. The MCK has noted with concern possible violation of the Act and hereby advises them to refrain from violating the provisions of the law,” he explained.

“MCK hereby cautions journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises against using their offices and official media platforms for political gain. This will ensure adherence to the Act and avoidance of any real, imagined, or perceived conflict of interest.”

The MCK boss thus cautioned any journlaist caught in contravention of the constitution that they would be held to account.

“The Council will take appropriate enforcement action against any journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises who are found to be in breach of the Act,” stated Omwoyo.

Earlier, during an interview with a radio station, Omwoyo called on political aspirants to avoid using their offices and resources to bash their political rivals saying it was unethical.

“It isn’t fair when you are planning to vie to sit behind a microphone and abuse your opponent,” he said in an interview with Spice FM.

He compared the scenario to the Kenyan Parliament where he said lawmakers were barred from discussing matters before the House in other forums.

“A journalist cannot for instance go to Parliament to table or debate a bill and come back to write about it,” he stated.

This comes just as the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has also laid out guidelines on public servants eyeing political seats to resign six months ahead of the General Election.

In regard to the law already passed, the resignation deadline for public officers is slated for February 9, 2022.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track