Reporters kicked out of Parliament centre
MPs have hit back at journalists over the coverage of their standoff with the salaries commission over their pay.
The lawmakers therefore decided to kick journalists out from the Media Centre in Parliament, allowing them to only cover parliamentary business on invitation.
The decision was reached at a meeting of the powerful House Business Committee after an MP sought to know why journalists had been allowed to â€œkeep reporting bad thingsâ€ about the National Assembly.
MPs who attended the Tuesday meeting told the Nation that the legislators asked National Assembly Clerk Justin Bundi to convert the Media Centre into two committee rooms. And on Wednesday morning, the Clerk instructed parliamentary orderlies to turn the centre into committee rooms. â€œWeâ€™re not creating residence for journalists in Parliament,â€ said Mr Bundi, shortly after issuing an ultimatum for journalists to leave the centre.
The order comes a fortnight after Majority Leader Aden Duale warned that the media will be taught a lesson over the coverage of MPsâ€™ pay controversy.
The Kenya Editors Guild on Wednesday reacted with shock at the eviction of journalists from the centre and demanded Parliament to rescinds the decision immediately.
In a statement signed by Guild chairman Macharia Gaitho and members Catherine Gicheru and Hassan Kulundu, the editors said they would consider asking media houses to halt all coverage of parliamentary proceedings until free and unhindered media access is restored.
â€œSuch actions are unprecedented in independent Kenya…They are retrogressive, dictatorial and totally unacceptable in a modern, democratic society.â€
The Kenya Parliamentary Journalists Association also appealed to MPs to reconsider their stand. â€œThe least the National Assembly can do is tell journalists they will be allowed into Parliament â€œby invitation,â€ said the association in a statement.
the NATION reporting.