Kipsigis Highlands Tea Factory guards attack journalists

Kipsigis Highlands tea factory in Chepchabas ward, Konoin Constituencywhere three guards assaulted a journalist Weldon Kirui on Saturday, July 6, 2019. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Journalists were at the factory to interview tea factory's management on claims they were dumping effluent in two rivers.

A journalist sustained injuries after being assaulted by guards at a private tea factory in Konoin, Bomet County shortly after a demonstration by a section of the residents.

Mr Weldon Kirui, a reporter with Taach FM, was assaulted by a guard as a battery of journalists sought to seek a comment from the factory management over claims from the Chepchabas ward residents that it was discharging waste into two local rivers.

At the entrance to the newly opened Kipsigis Highlands Tea Factory, three guards, taking orders from a man inside the factory, assaulted the journalists and sought to confiscate their cameras and telephones saying the media would not be allowed entry.

“Confiscate their cameras and phones and bundle them inside the factory compound. We do not want them here…ensure they do not take pictures,” commanded the man who was at the loading bay inside the factory, dressed in white coat.

Three of the guards at the factory’s entrance advanced towards the journalists and attempted to grab a camera from a Nation writer but Mr Kirui and Mr Hillary Mutai of Emoo FM, intervened.

As a result one of the guards removed a nut concealed in his trousers and hit Mr Kirui on the left cheek, injuring him on the gums.

The guards then retreated to the factory, from where they hurled verbal abuses and threatened to inflict more harm on the reporters as shocked members of the public watched during the incident that occurred at Saturday afternoon.