SO The Associated Press (ASP)
Origin: NAIROBI, Kenya
LP NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Kenya's leading newspaper group has been barred indefinitely from covering Parliament on grounds it is anti-government, subversive and tribalistic.
TX Deputy Speaker Kalonzo Musyoka, who proposed Wednesday's motion against the Nation Group, cited its relationship with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times as one reason for the banning. "Some journalists have been trained there on how to subvert their nation," said Musyoka. Some current and former Nation staffers worked at the Florida newspaper under an exchange program. There was no comment on Parliament's action from the Nation * Group, which is owned by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismailia Moslem sect. The group includes three Swahili-language newspapers and two English-language newspapers including the Daily Nation, with a circulation of about a quarter of a million daily. The Daily Nation bore the brunt of Parliament's ire and was accused of "twisting facts," abusing freedom of speech, subversion and undermining the ruling party and parliamentarians. The tabloid carried an extensive account of the debate in Thursday's editions but offered no editorial comment. "The Daily Nation has continued to play the role of a divider," said Elijah Mwangale, minister for livestock development. "We should censor it as an example to other newspapers so that they play their correct role." Musyoka cited "cynical and witty" stories whose "sole purpose was to cause disunity" and divisiveness and an article that portrayed the House as having lost its freedom to debate openly and freely. "The newspaper is saying there is no freedom of speech in the House," Musyoka said. Members of parliament also accused the Daily Nation of tribalism. "Daily Nation has a racialistic attitude due to its ownership," said Johnstone Makau, a minister for state. "It is out to safeguard their community and another tribe." The action was taken under a standing order that allows Parliament to exclude any media that "neglect or fail to report the business of the House correctly."
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