Doctored video clip costs RMS, Mediamax Sh12.5m in defamation settlement with Kang'ata

Irungu Kang'ata

Murang'a governor Irungu Kang'ata. 

Photo credit: MARTIN MWAURA I Nation Media Group

Murang'a governor Irungu Kang'ata has been paid a total of Sh12.5 million by Royal Media Services (RMS) and Mediamax Ltd over stories published last year by outlets of the two media houses, which he said were defamatory.

The two media houses published the articles on their websites and radio stations of Dr Kang'ata, then serving as Murang'a senator.

Dr Kang'ata, however, said the clips played by the media houses on September 15, last year were maliciously corrupted and ended up lowering his reputation.

He said he attempted to address the House from his car but then-Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka denied him the audience because of his location and asked him to physically present himself at the senate and make his address. Dr Kang'ata wanted to address the House over the plight of Murang'a farmers. 

Dr Kang'ata said in the cases filed before the Milimani magistrates court that the articles associated him with morally reprehensible behaviour. 

Denied claims

The two media houses had denied the claims and defended the publications saying they were done in good faith, without malice and not intended to injure Dr Kang'ata's reputation.

But the Murang'a county boss and the two media houses reached an out-of-court deal and RMS agreed to pay Dr Kang'ata Sh6 million while Mediamax paid him Sh6.5 million. 

Dr Kang'ata claimed that the words which were picked by radio stations including Kameme were sensationally broadcast at the time when there were heightened political activities and a year before the general election.

The governor said he is a church-goer, a husband and father of four school-going children and also a mentor and a moral beacon. 

The radio station further discussed the alleged transcript the following morning and invited callers who further scandalised Dr Kang'ata. 

He claimed he supplied the stations with an unedited version of the transcripts and urged the media houses to pull down the offending articles without success. 

"Further enclosed is a consent letter in duplicate duly exercised on our part marking this fully and finally settled with no orders as to costs," reads a letter to Dr Kang'ata's lawyers Tindi Munyasi & Company dated November 7.

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