As Jubilee party delegates streamed into the venue of the much anticipated National Delegates Convention (NDC) at the Ngong Racecourse in the morning of today on May 22nd 2023, a dramatic scene unfolded at the gate when the security personnel manning the entrance were enforcing some of the rules that they had been given to follow on their job.
The scene involved a 'Kenya News Alerts' journalist who was broadcasting events at the NDC venue live on YouTube and for around twelve minutes, Kenyans watching the same were treated with an unfortunate exchange of uncivilized words between the journalist and the security personnel just because of a minor misunderstanding.
The drama started when the journalist was trying to enter the venue where the dome hosting party delegates had been erected for him to update his online audience on how things were progressing.
He had probably arrived at the Ngong Racecourse vicinity earlier in the day and had spent quite some time interviewing a number of party delegates and officials outside the venue of the ceremony on the NDC and current political developments in the country.
But when he tried to gain access to the main venue, he was told that he couldn't be allowed inside because he lacked a simple tag that would've served as his gate pass.
While still communicating with his online audience as he walked towards the venue, he was stopped at the gate by one female security personnel who requested him to present his Jubilee delegate's tag saying that "tag yako babaa ndio uendelee ku record (your tag please before you proceed with recording)".
Seemingly surprised by the request, the journalist nevertheless flashed out his media tag but was told that it's not the one that they had requested for, rather that of delegates.
He found himself lacking the same but went ahead to explain that "I'm from the other gate and I've been told that we the media people can just enter without the need to have a delegates tag as long as we have our media tags".
The lady couldn't hear any of that and informed her male colleague who was interested in their conversation that "here's another one who doesn't have a tag."
Upon learning what was going on, the gentleman who was in a suit and tie and wearing a white earpiece while holding a radio call told the journalist that "if you don't have a tag, then you won't enter.
We've been strictly directed that anyone without a tag should not be allowed in here. We're just following orders."
The journalist tried again to explain that he had been told that media personnel won't require a delegate's tag to enter but he couldn't be heard because the gentleman's attention had been drawn to another case involving another civilian who also lacked a tag.
After handling that civilian and directing him to go get a tag, the gentleman told the journalist that he had even barred another set of journalists from entering the premises for lacking the required tag and therefore he should do the necessary and get his if indeed he wanted to enter.
The lady even explained to him that all other media people that had been granted access into the venue were having two tags, that's one for media and another one of Jubilee party delegate.
The journalist couldn't hear any of that, stood his ground and said that he wasn't going back to get the Jubilee tag when he had earlier been told that the media tag was enough.
Coincidentally, Citizen TV journalists arrived in their vehicle and after explaining their situation, they were granted access together with their vehicle despite the security team having earlier said that vehicles wouldn't be allowed in unless they were carrying foodstuffs.
The gentleman then turned to the journalist and told him that "wewe itabidi uendee tag..."
Before he could finish his statement, the journalist interrupted him saying that "si ati itabidi niendee. This is not our first meeting to cover. Ukianza kunionyesha hivyo kiburi, pia mimi niko na kiburi yangu na ninafanya kazi."
These remarks seemed to irk the security personnel and in his response to the journalist, the gentleman told the him that "sawa, wewe na hiyo kiburi yako enda hukoo."
The lady even added that "toa kiburi yako basi, sisi tutoe yetu. Simple."
She then left to get her cup of tea and 'mandazi' that they were being served as breakfast and another gentleman who had finished his breakfast replaced her at the gate.
Turning to this second gentleman, the journalist explained that "I'm a media personnel seeking access to cover this event and I'm actually live right now on 'Kenya News Alerts'."
He was informed by this second gentleman that he should've first started by introducing himself and the platform or media company he works for since this would've eliminated all the misunderstanding and drama.
The second gentleman then took a step back and the journalist came face-to-face again with the one in suit and in the process of his lamentations, the journalist was by the gentleman told that "I've told you that with your rudeness, just move aside, go get the tag or leave. Na kama unaona wewe ndio uko na kiburi, enda penye unaenda."
It seems the standoff would've lasted an eternity but after some minutes of silence, the second gentleman made a phone call and within no time, he gestured at the journalist to enter the venue, giving him some reprieve.
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