November 2nd 2016                BY Cheruiyot Korir
The government has launched a complaint against the Nation Media Group (NMG) for alleged skewed reporting and defamation.

Information Communication Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the government takes great exception with the manner in which the media Group depicted the government as corrupt, inept and made up of thieves in their news based on an interim audit report from the Ministry of Health.

In a press briefing at his Telposta Towers Boardroom today, November 2, 2016 Mr. Mucheru said he was forwarding an official government complaint to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) to seek justice and hold the media Group to account for alleged defamation and character assassination.

Mr Mucheru said in view of the concerns over the story, the government demand that the Media Complaints Commission take action against NMG for slanderous and false reporting.

The Cabinet Secretary added that the Business Daily and NTV in particular should apologize with the same prominent coverage that they had given the original story.

He said the publications should be compelled to produce evidence of the alleged theft of ksh. 5.3 billon contained in their newspaper report.

Last week, The Business Daily and its sister Publication NTV carried stories alleging the public officers in the Ministry of Health stole Ksh. 5.3 billion and characterized civil servants as thugs.

Mr Mucheru expressed concern over The Business Daily omission of  details of Gazetti limited, a company owned by the media company  that feature in the interim audit report having been paid sh 2.3 million.  He wondered why Business Daily treated payment of the amount to their sister company in the interim audit report  as legitimate while accusing others in the report as having engaged in theft and fraud daily .

He said the government was fully committed to media freedom and encouraged the press to interrogate government projects and performance. He explained that the freedom however must be exercised responsibly.