Two Homa Bay based journalists have recorded a statement with the police after some youths assaulted and harassed them while undertaking their duties.
The youths gained entry in Tourist Hotel within Homa Bay town where a group of Luo council of elders were addressing the media over their call for peace between President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.
The elders led by chairman Nyandiko Ongadi had appealed for both Raila and President Ruto to have a peaceful negotiation and address challenges currently facing Kenyans.
A few minutes after the elders concluded speaking to the media,the youths surrounded, blocked and harassed them.
They accused them of taking sides during and after the last presidential election.
They claimed the elders have not been supporting Raila and his protest call against the Kenya Kwanza administration.
“We’ll not allow you to undermine jakom (Raila) because of your self interests.You must know that Homa Bay is baba’s stronghold,” one of the youths shouted.
Ongadi dismissed and told them to go slow on grounds that they were still young.
He warned them against being misused by any political leader to harassed elders.
” We Raila and Ruto to engage in dialogue because it’s the only method of uniting Kenyans,”he added.
As Ogandi was speaking , about three youths left him and went and attacked a staff at the Ministry of Regional Development Aggrey Otore.One of the youths kicked and punched him under the belly.
Another one kicked and pushed him down.His head cap fell off. The Saturday evening commotion took more than 30minutes.
“You can’t come here,use elders and discredit Raila.We’ll not allow you to undermine our Governor Gladys Wanga,”another youth said.
It is at this point when George Odiwuor of Daily Nation tried to intervene by telling the man that the elders were not talking about Wanga.
Immediately one of the goons left Otore and punched him twice in the belly, accusing him of defending the elders and Otore.
“Come here! You’re part of them,” he said as he beat him.
Another goon went for Aly Abich of Ramogi FM and Ramogi TV but he ran away.He tried to chase him saying Abich was being used to peddle propaganda against Governor Wanga.
He warned Abich of airing stories which they claimed were against Wanga and Raila.
“I will catch up with you one day.In fact we don’t want you to attend Wanga’s function,” he said.
Odiwuor and Abich recorded statement at Homa Bay police station for investigations.
Other journalists present included Joseph Onyango (Nam Lolwe FM), Dickens Ochieng (Sky FM), Florence Owiti (Tuko News), Florence Ochieng (Radio Lake Victoria FM) , Lavender Okech (Arise FM) and James Latano (Citizen TV).
Homa Bay journalists chairman James Omoro condemned the incident and called for speedy probe into the matter by the police.
He said it is wrong to attack journalists who are conveyors of the message in the society.
“Youths should respect journalists because they also seek media interventions when they have problems,” Omoro said.
Homa Bay police commander Samson Kinne said they are looking into the matter and promised to arrest and punish the culprits.
“It ‘s a crime to attack journalists when they are doing their work. We have identified some of them and we’ll arrest them,” Kinne said.