Stop Harassing Journalists, Work on Security Lapses at Airports
It has come to the attention of Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) harassment and intimidation of Vincent Achuka, a journalist with Standard Group, who has been summoned by police for exposing security lapses at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Reading the police orders to record a statement, Mr Achuka’s alleged offence is demonstration that East Africa’s biggest and busiest Airport is in the hands of incompetent people, who fleece taxpayers every month in salaries only to sleep on the job.
Mr Achuka, has demonstrated bravery, an important ingredient of investigative journalism, by verifying information given to him by his sources to ensure the story is accurate and factual.
We wish to advise Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Airways, who are the main complainants in this matter, to demand accountability from their officers, charged with responsibility of securing our airports and licensing of users instead of training their guns on messengers.
If indeed Mr Achuka was able to access the airside of the airport for the purposes of corroborating his facts, then the real culprits who have abdicated their duties must be called out.
Kenya Union of Journalists is in solidarity with Mr Achuka, who has heeded to the calling to go out of his way, despite risks involved, to inform the public the existing security lapses at the airport. Kenya police and other security personnel at the airport should appreciate Mr Achuka’s work, and use it to seal loopholes that can lead to serious consequences on the status of JKIA as a category one airport.
Last but not least, we congratulate Mr Achuka for the bravery, and bringing to the attention of Kenyans security lapses at Jomo Kenyatta International. We urge him to do follow-ups.
It is so yesterday for any parastatal or police officers to believe that summoning journalists to record statements will restore order at JKIA’s cargo terminal.