Elgeyo Marakwet Senator and Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen’s appearance at KTN’s political talk show CheckPoint has been cancelled.
The cancellation has allegedly been instigated by Baringo senator Gideon Moi, in what is seen a political move in the 2022 political realignments pitting the Rift Valley leaders.
The region has been torn in the middle, with loyalties to Moi and the Deputy President William Ruto, as the two battle to win clout in the region through media houses.
Standard Media Group which houses KTN is said to be majority owned by the Moi family.
Expressing his distaste on Twitter, Murkomen accused Moi of stifling media freedom by dictating editorial content of the station.
“I am sorry to let you know that my colleague Sen.Moi has cancelled my appearance at KTN #CheckPoint Tonight. I have always supported media freedom in Kenya. Unfortunately the struggle between media ownership &editorial independence is real,” he tweeted.
I am sorry to let you know that my colleague https://t.co/wimoj87AjT has cancelled my appearance at KTN #CheckPoint Tonight. I have always supported media freedom in Kenya. Unfortunately the struggle between media ownership &editorial independence is real….. pic.twitter.com/CIQT29fWRt
— KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H (@kipmurkomen) July 28, 2019
Murkomen sits on DP William Ruto’s political side, who is Moi’s nemesis and the two have been involved in a silent battle through their supporters.
This is not the first show on KTN that has been hit by political wars, the first being KTN Point Blank.
Point Blank is hosted by Tony Gachoka, who has publicly expressed his distaste for Ruto and his 2022 Presidential bid, terming him as unfit to hold public office.
Gachoka has been hosting most guests who have been on record for being anti-Ruto, while the other few guests are ‘neutral’ in a bid to to create the picture of a neutral show.
Point Blank on the onset was seen as a show aimed at driving the anti-Ruto narrative before 2022.
On the other hand, it is alleged that Ruto bought a significant stake at Mediamax and is revamping the media house in preparation for 2022. The station however is yet to show an outright political bias against any 2022 presidential aspirant.