The Director of Public Prosecutions Renson Ingonga has said he is committed to ensure that crimes against journalists are dealt with.
Ingonga said crimes against journalists continue to be committed despite several measures undertaken to protect the lives of journalists in the course of their duties.
He spoke on Thursday, November 2 when scribes convened to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Nairobi.
“The ODPP is committed to upholding the fundamental freedoms and rights of journalists in the course of their duties as the crimes committed against journalists erode and undermine democracy and accountability in society,” Ingonga said.
The DPP said a free and independent media is the cornerstone of any democracy as it ensures transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs.
“Journalist play an integral role in disseminating information of public interest, promotion of the rule of law and upholding freedom of expression and media as well as access to information pursuant to the provisions of Article 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Constitution,” he said.
He declared unequivocal commitment to uphold the rights and freedoms of journalists within the confines of the law.
Ingonga said investigations into crimes committed against journalists should be undertaken expeditiously and those found culpable should be prosecuted.
He also called for timely prosecution of those who commit crimes against journalists.
“I undertake to ensure that crimes against journalists are not only expeditiously prosecuted but I will also endeavor to hold those found culpable to account no matter their status in society,” the DPP said.
Further, Ingonga called for collaboration and coordination between the ODPP and media stakeholders believing it will help counter the crimes committed against scribes.
“I will pursue strategies that foster close collaboration between my office and the Kenya Media Stakeholders Working Group to enhance information sharing and exchange of ideas. This will end impunity for crimes against journalists and ensure a transparent and accountable system,” Ingonga said.
Ingonga said he will revamp the ODPP Public Affairs and Corporate Communication Division which will provide the platform for dissemination of information regarding investigation and prosecution of crimes against Journalists.
This he believes will create transparency and accountability between the media and the ODPP.
“ It is therefore my firm belief that with these measures and our collective commitment to change, we can make a significant difference,” he said.