Journalists are no strangers to run-ins with law enforcers, based on their tendency to touch on matters involving the high and mighty.
Even household name journalist are no exception, with Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange, opening up on his narrow escape from a jail sentence while interviewing Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during his JKlive show on March 4.
Their heated conversation took an unexpected turn when Jeff asked Sonko to come clean on his alleged escape from Shimo la Tewa prisons, not to be outdone, the governor pointed out that the renowned journalist had also escaped from the clasps of the law not so long ago.
This prompted Jeff to open up on his public tiff with business mogul Jimmy Wanjigi that saw him facing defamation charges.
Jeff Koinange,(right) hugs political analyst Tony Gachoka when the two met at Milimani on June 5, 2015.
“Yes it’s true, I almost ended up behind bars back then. I’d probably be subscribed to the infamous prison beans by now,” he jokingly admitted.
Sonko offered some reprieve for the journalist, stating that he would use his prison connections to ensure that Jeff wasn’t harassed in prison.
“I was the king behind bars, don’t worry, I’d have found a way to ensure that you got your beans ration on credit,” he stated, prompting hearty laughter from the renowned journalist.
Back on May 13, 2015, a Nairobi court issued a warrant of arrest against Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange and Tony Gachoka.
The two were alleged to have discussed the conduct of a company on the ‘Jeff Koinange Live’ show on April 1, despite there being a court order barring Koinange (who was with KTN at the time) from broadcasting or publishing a defamatory statement concerning the company.
Businessman Jimi Wanjigi, Mr Sani Mbui Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies Limited through their lawyer wanted their company to be paid a total of Ksh60 million as compensation for defamation.
The two journalists had linked the wealthy businessman to the infamous Anglo-leasing scandal.
Koinange and Gachoka were however spared from serving a 6-month sentence when High Court judge Roselyne Aburili declared that the Ksh2 million fine or six months jail term imposed on them as unlawful on February 28, 2017.
The two were then freed on a Ksh100, 000 cash bail following their arraignment.