Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has been castigated by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) over the decision to summon Royal Media Services (RMS) in the aftermath of the "Guns Galore" exposé that aired on April 18, 2021.
In a statement released on April 20, MCK asked the DCI to investigate criminal activities within the police force rather than summon journalists.
The council argued that Kinoti's actions are a detriment to press freedom.
“Summoning journalists about their work or coercing them to reveal their sources is a violation of press freedom and the Constitution," the statement read in part.
MCK stated that journalists are protected by the law in the dispensation of their duties and also by the Tswane Principles on National Security and Freedom of Expression.
“In this case where the media has exposed weaknesses among some elements in the National Police Service, natural justice demands the same Service cannot then purport to investigate or otherwise summon the journalists. Instead, efforts should be put toward finding out how their members are providing civilians with guns, bullets, uniforms and handcuffs,” MCK stated.
The council urged the DCI to file a complaint with the Media Complaints Commission, which is legally mandated to handle such issues under Section 27 of the Media Council Act 2013.
The statement by MCK comes after DCI Kinoti thrashed the exposé by Purity Mwambia, alleging that some of the guns were Chinese-made replicas.
The "Guns Galore" exposé unearthed how criminals in the country hire guns, hand cuffs, uniforms and buy bullets from the police to commit crimes.