The Star Newspaper yesterday released a strongly worded statement in defense of its writer Kamore Maina.
In the affidavit signed by Ms Josephine Maina, CS Waiguru is recorded as having named Kamore as one of two ‘media gurus’ she used for propaganda, the other being Standard’s Munuhe Mwaniki.
Ms Kabura stated that she met the two journalists and Waiguru told her to give Sh10 million to Munuhe.
Munuhe has already promised to sue Kabura if she does not retract her statement by today evening.
The Star newspaper however decided to take another approach. They released a press statement defending their writer. Here it is in full.
ALLEGATIONS BY JOSEPHINE KABURA
Yesterday, Josephine Kabura, one of the suspects in a court case regarding the alleged theft of Sh791 million from the National Youth Service, filed an affidavit in court.
In her affidavit, among other allegations, Kabura claimed to have met Star journalist Kamore Maina and another journalist at the Runda home of former Cabinet Secretary for Devolution Anne Waiguru.
Waiguru allegedly referred to them as “her media gurus.”
Kabura claimed that Waiguru directed her at the meeting to give Sh10 million to the other journalist (not Kamore) for consultancy services.
We cannot take these accusations lightly as they question the integrity of The Star newspaper and our reporter.
We respond as follows:
It was the Star that first broke the story of the fraudulent dealings at NYS.
Under the headline ‘Central Bank Questions Huge NYS Payments’ on June 18, 2015, the Star launched a series of investigative articles that would eventually lead to the resignationof Waiguru and multiple prosecutions of those involved in the NYS transactions.
Over the last eight months, Kamore wrote many of the Star’s investigative stories on the NYS scandal.
At no time did he seek to protect Waiguru or Kabura from investigations.
Kamore even went to Kabura’s rural home in Murang’a to seek an interview with her parents. Kabura accused him of harassment and in November sent Kamore a lawyer’s letter warning him to desist from writing about her and the NYS transactions.
Kamore insists he has never met the former CS let alone attended a meeting with her.
“I have never been to Anne Waiguru’s home and we have never met face to face. If I stood before her today, she would not even be able to say who I am. I have also not received any money from Waiguru, Kabura or anyone else to kill or water down the NYS or any other story,” he said.
Star Editor Charles Kerich commented: “Kamore kept the news desk appraised every time he was gathering material for the NYS stories that he wrote and which were published. We always knew whom he was meeting, when and where. That is the hallmark of a trustworthy reporter. It is unbelievable that he could have been so two-faced as to continuously unearth exclusive information on the NYS scandal while simultaneously receiving payments to protect Waiguru and Kabura.”
The Star stands by all the stories it published regarding the NYS payments.
The newspaper was probably right to put out the statement for credibility’s sake, but it is impossible that they can account for all his movements, and probably that’s why the wording does not explicitly ‘declare him innocent’.
Is this a case of defending a thief because he is our thief? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, Kamore’s stories will be put under the microscope.
Here are some of them.