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Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, May 8, 2014 – Five million Catholics in Kenya are planning a boycott of East and Central Africa’s largest media house the Nation Media Group over malicious article published by it Nairobi Newspaper on their head Cardinal Bishop John Njue.
The boycott would affect mass circulation publications of Daily Nation, Sunday Nation, Taifa Leo, Nairobi News, Nation Television Network, and the money transfer Nation Hela. The group has several other newspapers and television stations in neighboring Tanzania and Uganda.
The Catholic Head His Eminence Cardinal Njue has demanded an apology from the Nation Media Group over an article published by its youngest newspaper Nairobi News linking him to land grabbing in Nairobi.
A letter by a Nairobi law firm Kanyi & Koge Advocates demands an apology with the same prominence as the lead article published by the newspaper on land grabbing in the capital city of Nairobi last April. Although the article did not mention Cardinal Njue by name Nairobi News published two of his photographs linking him with so-called “bigwigs” who grabbed public land reserved for police, children’s playgrounds and markets to build office blocks and housing estates.
The article also alleged that “Catholics” were beneficiaries of a children’s playground, which has since been developing into a housing estate. Nairobi News did not show ownership or developers details leaving its readers to wonder which “Catholics” were allocated the playground.
Among devout Catholics in Kenya are families of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former President Mwai kibaki. The Catholic Church is estimated to have over 5 million followers in Kenya.
It is not clear why, other than professional negligence or malice, the newspaper found it suitable to use two different photographs of Cardinal Njue on the same story about events that took place when he was not the head of the Catholic Church and when he personally was not allocated any land and has never developed any housing estate in Nairobi as a beneficiary. The newspaper used a photograph of Jamia Mosque and not its faithful’s spiritual leader The Aga Khan, who owns the Nation Media Group – otherwise they all would be fired.
The blanket inclusion of the Cardinal’s photographs and “Catholics” as beneficiaries of land grabbing has provoked anger among the second largest Church in Kenya. Reliable sources say plans are underway to mobilize Catholic faithful’s countrywide to boycott Nation Media Group products for a month if the apology is not forthcoming. They see a veiled religious hate message.
The article could have been part of a Nation Group conspiracy against Cardinal Njue’s potential ascendancy to become the world Catholic spiritual head as the first African Pope. This far-fetched theory is founded on the basis of the ongoing religious rivalry driven by radical Muslims against Christianity in the world and Africa in particular. It is that rivalry that is fueling terrorism on the African continent, Kenya included, and liberal Arab states as radicals push for Sharia law.
The boycott will be propagated during Church congregations, prayer sessions and other Catholic events countrywide from a date to be announced by the organizers. This will be the first time a national boycott has been called against the Nation Media Group by a body with millions of consumers of its products.
Many are furious that the malicious article was published only a few days to Easter celebrations in which the Cardinal would be conducting mass. It was also less than two weeks away of an international Catholic event on April 27th in the Vatican for the declaration of Sainthood of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII announced on September 30th 2013.
Nairobi News appears to be anxious to build its circulation through sensational and unprofessional journalism preying on personal reputation of prominent personalities. Among other victims of the newspaper land grabbing defamation is former Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Joseph Kaguthi who has also demanded an apology from the Nation Media Group.
Nation Media Group is notorious for malicious libel cases many of which it bribes judges to throw away using corrupt Asian lawyers of Ismailia faith. A former lady journalist with the Daily Nation group Fibi Munene languished in judicial corridors for 35 years seeking justice after she sued the media house for publishing a letter saying she would have been a prostitute if she had not been writer for the Nation.
She died a miserable-broken-down woman one week before a Nairobi court finally awarded her Ksh 7 million that Nation had appealed against and dragged the case for years on end. The Nation sacked Fibi when she demanded an apology and it has to date refused to pay the libel suit even as the collateral damages and accumulated interest is in the region of Ksh 56 million – literally stealing from the dead!
Former investigative reporter and Journalist of the Year with the newspaper Blamuel Njururi, also sued the media house after maliciously reporting prominently in the Sunday Nation that former President Daniel arap Moi had attacked him in a public meeting in Murang’a, which was a false fabrication by Presidential Press Unit head Lee Njiru, fanned by former group Editor in Chief George Mbugus.
The case was thrown out by a judge who had been using his police driver to hawk a few trays of eggs at the High Court but in the course of libel suit case became a proud owner of a Peugeot 405 saloon car. Nation uses Asian lawyers, many of them belonging to its owner’s Ismailia Muslim faith but corrupt to the core, to buy its “justice” by making files to disappear from courts or bending the brains of judicial staff. It organized for evidence to be stolen from lawyers’ offices and rejection of President Moi public address transcripts. The media house believes in bribing the judiciary as sure way of “winning” libel cases.
The media house is now in a mad race to win readership following encroachment of its lead in Kenya by the saucy Star newspaper and alternative media publications. Established in 1960s the Nation newspaper has stagnated at a low circulation of just over 200,000 in a country of 40 million. The group’s sales and advertising revenue however, runs into billions of shillings.
The letter to the Nation Media Group states;
Group Managing Director
Nation Media Group
P O Box 49010 00100
RE: HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL JOHN NJUE
We act for the above named client John Njue, who has instructed us to write to you as follows:-
That by an article published by your Nairobi News in April 14-15 issue No. 58 widely sold in Nairobi, its environs and disseminated on the global world-wide internet platforms, your said paper published defamatory matters in respect to our client. The contents of the said article were untrue and malicious.
We wish to raise the following matters:-
The malicious newspaper headline reads: “Scandal of Nairobi bigwigs who grabbed land”. Below the headline in bold Red print reads: “PLOTS SET ASIDE FOR PLAYROUNDS, SCHOOLS, MARKETS AND POLICE STATIONS WERE HANDED TO PROMINENT PEOPLE WHO PUT UP SHOPS, OFFICES AND HOUSING ESTATES, SAYS NEW REPORT PAGE 4-5
Next to the headline are three photographs of the alleged “bigwigs” depicting our client His Eminence Cardinal John Njue with a caption: “Cardinal John Njue Catholic Church was given land in Nairobi” – See the photo.
The article introduction reads: “Almost half of the public land in Nairobi has been grabbed. Land for clinics, playgrounds, schools, markets and police stations was given to well-connected people who put up shops, offices and housing estates, a new report reveals.”
The article makes several references to our client’s flock “Catholics” as part of the wretched land grabbers Kenyans loath. Paragraph 4 states; “Companies and organizations receiving land included the Mormons, the Catholics, Jamia Mosque, and Nakumatt.”
Paragraph 21 maliciously states; “The report also shows that a children’s playground in Lang’ata’s Otiende estate was irregularly allocated to the Mormons, while the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi was allocated a children’s playground now used for housing. Jamia Mosque was given a plot which was allocated to Kigali Curio Market.”
The said malicious use of our client’s photographs has injured the reputation and social standing of an innocent distinguished Kenyan and God’s servant in obvious professional negligence and unethical practice of simple due diligence.
The Nairobi News further advertised the malicious article on the internet using different photographs of the alleged “bigwigs”. Our client is depicted wearing his official religious attire to expose what one Nation reader describes as a “Mungiki land grabber” and “fake bishop”.
The Nairobi News malicious photographs were widely seen by millions in Kenya and beyond following an internet advertisement, which also published the photograph of our client as follows:
“Scandal of city bigwigs who grabbed land”
Written by email@example.com”>BILLY MUIRURI, @bmuiruri, posted on Apr 14, 2014
Almost half of the public land in Nairobi has been grabbed.
Land for clinics, playgrounds, schools, markets and police stations was given to well-connected people who put up shops, offices and housing estates, a new report reveals.
It shows the shocking extent to which corrupt officials in the old city council and national governments grabbed land meant for public use and dished it out to people who converted it to private property.
Prominent people named in the report include former mayor John Ndirangu, former MP Peter Oloo Aringo, city politician Habib Kongo and former Nairobi PC Joseph Kaguthi.
For details of the story, get the latest issue of Nairobi News newspaper.
• Identify and punish officers in land grabbing rot
• Take back all grabbed city land
• Former MP accuses church of grabbing his dying wife’s land”
The joint photograph was also posted on Daily Nation Twitter account and fans Facebook instantly providing fertile fodder for very unkind and defamatory comments, which the Nation Media Group webmasters also published.
We are therefore; instructed by our client to seek an appropriate apology to be published with the same prominence as was the offending article in the front page within seven (7) days from the date hereof.
We are further instructed to demand appropriate financial compensation to partially placate the deep reputation wounds inflicted whose scars our client will live with forever.
TAKE NOTICE that if you do not accede to the requirements above we have instructions to proceed further for a claim of defamation without any further reference.
Kanyi Koge Advocates