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REVEALED: President Kenyatta ordered ‘Nation’ editor’s release

By NAIROBI NEWS TEAM

A senior journalist arrested by CID officers who attempted to force him to reveal the source of his story last month was eventually released upon orders from President Uhuru Kenyatta, it can now be revealed.

This claim was made by State House Director of Digital Communication Dennis Itumbi on his official social media page this past week. Itumbi cited John Ngirachu’s arrest and release to highlight the difference between the Jubilee government’s and opposition’s track record with regard to the rule of law.

“Former CS (Charity) Ngilu and (Michael) Kamau in court, Former CS (Anne) Waiguru house searched, PS (Peter) Mangiti and NYS Director too, Journalist (John) Ngirachu arrested and released on intervention of President and DP on Freedom of Press,” Itumbi wrote while citing the Jubilee government’s sound track record.

SUSTAINED PRESSURE

On the opposition’s “rule of law record”, Itumbi wrote: “George Aladwa arrested… opposition claimed he is being intimidated and quoted off context (sic) , Senator (Moses) Wetangula found guilty by three courts of bribing voters, opposition political mobilization to defend him, ODM SG Ababu Namwamba releases recording of Cord MPs admitting bribery. No official word from the party.”

Last month when Ngirachu was arrested, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery claimed that the Daily Nation‘s parliamentary editor had breached confidentiality on sensitive matters in a story he had written on the ministry’s spending.

“He (Ngirachu) will be released when he reveals the source of the story he wrote on Interior Ministry spending,” Nkaissery said at the time.

The journalist was however released six hours after his arrest after writing a statement in the presence of Nation Media Group lawyers and following condemnation and sustained pressure from the opposition politicians and media stakeholders.