Citizen TV anchor, Sam Gituku, put nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba on the spot over allegations that former president Uhuru Kenyatta was financing the Azimio-led protests.
Gituku also called out the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) senator, for claiming that the media was biased in reporting attacks on the Kenyatta family’s Northlands City and Spectre, a gas plant owned by former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.
During Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Tuesday, March 28, Orwoba claimed that it was public knowledge that Uhuru Kenyatta was the financier of the protests that led to the mass destruction of property.
Further, she claimed that if the protests were about the high cost of living, the Azimio Members of Parliament would have moved to address the matter in Parliament, an option she alleged they had not exploited.
“I have not seen any Azimio Member of Parliament proposing to address those issues. They are throwing stones to destroy property and people’s lives.
“Even the same journalists who have not reported the property lost by Kenyans have reported that they were attacked. At the end of the day, we had a lot of violence,” Orwoba argued.
Further, in response to how she knew who sponsored the Azimio Protests and how much money was released, Orwoba claimed that she was privy to the details owing to the fact that she was a Kenyan.
Sam Gituku: You are purporting, as a matter of fact, that the former President is the one financing the demonstrations. And because this is on Citizen TV when was that? How much has he been paying, and through what channels?
Senator Orwoba: The same questions I can ask you, and you may not answer. How do you know it is not him?
Sam Gituku: We cannot argue like that here, senator.
Senator Orwoba: You cannot call me to account, yet even the media houses do not want to be called to account. When I am asking why did we not see the property, Kenyans were destroying… You want to ignore that…
Sam Gituku: We don’t have control over the editorial policy of the newspapers you are sitting there, but we have control of what we are doing here, and I am asking you a question. You have made an allegation that the former President has been financing the Azimio protests. How much and how has it been paid?
Senator Orwoba: I am telling you that it is my opinion, based on my facts, living in this country, based on thousands of other Kenyans who are observing and watching. And you can put me into account, the same way I am trying to put you into account, and nobody is asking.
Winnie Odinga joins mass protests on Monday, March 27, 2023.
File The nominated Senator continued to fault the media for bias, adding that they reported the damages that were done on the Kenyatta property and the property of Azimio leader Raila Odinga but had not detailed on the two occasions of protests, the property of Kenyans that had been destroyed.
Sam Gituku asked the senator what she believed the outcome would have been if the police officers had not barred the protestors from moving to other places.
In response, Orwoba stated that the protestors should have been criminalised owing to the damages witnessed in different parts of the country. She also accused Winnie Odinga of displaying ammunition she allegedly collected during the protests but had carried from a shooting range.
“Do you think if Azimio did not go to the streets to demonstrate… Do you think we would be sitting here discussing the state of the nation? This madness must stop.
“If we are going to have terrorists in the streets, there is no way we can state Article 37,” Orwoba added.
In a rebuttal, anchor Gituku explained that the allegations were the senator’s opinions and not the views of Citizen TV. As the argument escalated, he stepped in and defended the media from Senator Orwoba’s accusations. He also explained that the newspapers reported on not only Raila’s and Uhuru’s property but also the loss of lives and property in different parts of the country.
Sam Gituku: Senator Orwoba, media houses have their editorial policies and news values expected… you will not control how the media does it work. They have their independence, and you know that. Article 34…
Senator Orwoba: They will not control my opinion.
Other senators present intervened and concurred that media weighs on news values and headlines should not be debated for hours.
criminal ammunition terrorist violence