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NMG PROMINENT JOURNALISTS RESIGN OVER MEDDLING BY GOVERNMENT

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Eight eminent journalists working for Kenya’s biggest media group, NMG quit today over what they said was increased meddling by government and interference in journalistic freedom by the paper’s management.

The columnists include George Kegoro, executive director of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission; Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki, Africa director of the Open Society Foundation; and Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at Birmingham University.

In a joint statement, they suggested government interference in the Nation Media Group (NMG).

“I resign to protest the growing infringement on media freedom. I resign to show solidarity with the voices that have been silenced. I resign because we must live our beliefs,” Cheeseman wrote on Twitter.

Meddlings included the firing of a managing editor after an editorial critical of the presidency and failing to renew the contract of popular cartoonist Gado who regularly took aim at government.

Last month, NMG fired the manager of its NTV station, Linus Kaikai, after he said there had been collusion between media owners and government to censor coverage of the mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who maintained he won elections last year.

NTV and two other television stations were pulled off the air for a week – despite court orders directing they be put back on – as they attempted to cover the ceremony.

The NMG is the biggest private media house in East Africa, operating in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

 

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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