Press Freedom Under Threat in Kenya’s 2022 Presidential Elections

The presidential candidates in 2022 Kenyan presidential elections (L-R): David Mwaure Waihiga, Raila Odinga, William Ruto and Prof. George Wajackoyah. Photo by GETTY IMAGES

Threats against journalists surfaced in the Kenyan presidential elections of 2022 despite strides the media had made to cover them in an objective, balanced and fair manner.

The electoral process was associated with various threats to press freedom. The presidential candidates included David Mwaure Waihiga of Agano Party, Prof. George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party, Raila Odinga of the Azimio coalition, and the eventual winner, William Ruto, of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Abdalle Ahmed Mumin: A Testimony of Violence Against Journalists in Somalia

Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (in the center) during one of the protests of journalists in Somalia.  /Courtesy Photo.

Abdalle Ahmed Mumin has always prioritized fighting for media freedom and human rights in Somalia. This has put his life and family in danger but his perspective was shaken when he could no longer have himself protected against the Somali government as a journalist for the past 20 years. Abdalle was accused of disobeying government directives in October 2022 and later in March 2023, he fled to Nairobi for safety where he is living until now.

Media Ownership a Threat to Press Freedom in Kenya

A newspaper vendor selling The Standard and Daily Nation, the most dominant privately owned newspapers in Kenya. Photo:Simon Main)

Unlike many African countries where state-owned media houses control the landscape, Kenya’s most influential media organisations are privately owned and this has significant implications for press freedom in the country.

The largest media organisations – Nation Media Group, Standard Media Group and Royal Media Services – own multiple newspapers and television and radio stations across the country, and their shareholders include powerful individuals and companies.