NAIROBI, Kenya - Security agents seized and erased a video showing Kenya's first lady slapping a government official, apparently angered because he introduced her by the name of a woman widely believed to be the president's second wife, officials said yesterday.
Kenya's media regulator gave President Mwai Kibaki's office two weeks to explain the incident, which happened at the president's official residence during Wednesday's Independence Day celebration.
The deadline means no response is due until after the Dec. 27 presidential election, in which polls show Kibaki is trailing and which is shaping up to be the closest in Kenyan history.
"We don't want to preempt anything," said Wachira Waruru, chairman of the Media Council of Kenya, "but the complaint is a gross violation of press freedom."
The complaint was lodged by Kenya's largest media house, the Nation Media Group. The Nation said security agents erased photo and television images of Lucy Kibaki slapping the government official after he called her
- the name of a woman many Kenyans believe has been Kibaki's second wife for 30 years. Kibaki has denied he has a second wife.
In a newspaper interview later, the official said he had slipped, introducing Lucy Kibaki as Lucy Wambui.