Where Did They Get That Idea?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Where Did They Get That Idea?

Presented almost without comment:

World Press Freedom Day? Not if you ask the Kenyan president's wife, who stormed into the newsroom of the nation's largest newspaper with her security detail early Tuesday, demanding journalists be arrested for what she considers biased coverage, slapping a cameraman and bringing into question the government's commitment to the rule of law....

Lucy Kibaki, wife of President Mwai Kibaki, arrived with her bodyguards in official government vehicles and then ordered her security men, who are police officers, to keep anyone from leaving the newsroom and to confiscate the night reporters' mobile telephones, according to an account in Tuesday's late edition of the Nation....

In video broadcast on the midday television news reports on Tuesday, Mrs. Kibaki was shown berating the Nation staff while the Nairobi police chief, King'ori Mwangi, stood by her side, looking sheepish....

She also commented on a member of parliament who had criticized her past behavior, saying: "I don't know her, but when I meet her, I will teach her a lesson...."

While The Daily Nation reported that the police chief tried to persuade her to leave, no action was taken against her for the assault, or the trespassing on private property.

But why was Mrs. Kibaki so upset in the first place?
The midnight-to-5 a.m. confrontation followed regular reports by Kenya's newspapers of allegations the first lady acts more like highhanded royalty than the wife of a democratic leader.
Coverage in the Kenyan paper The Daily Nation, whose office was the scene of the incident, is here (free registration required).

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