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Time we demanded more from our media

It is the Christmas season again and once every five years Christmas gets mixed up with campaign rallies too and its difficult to know which of the two is more exciting and this year it’s no different…in fact its even bigger and better as “Dark Forces” are also at play!

I think this Dark Forces thing is the biggest excuse I have heard this year…really of all the excuses that nigga could get he only thought of DF (assuming that he was not referring to beings with blood and flesh) ?

So dark forces is the new excuse in town but I can’t help to wonder what excuse the Kenyan media have for not giving a factual, balanced and objective coverage to the campaigns, are Dark Forces also at play here?

The media is charged with the role of shaping public opinion on matters of national importance, and I’m wondering why they are deliberately misleading Kenyans when it comes to the process of choosing the country’s next CEO?

If you have been watching the news lately it is all about who is forming a coalition with who, who visited who in his home, who signed a secret deal with who, who has been kicked out of which coalition and I can go on till tomorrow.

Where are the issues that we are voting for or against come March 4th 2013?

I have said before on this page and I will not be afraid to say it again that the coalitions being formed are all about individuals and tribes…what do you think is the basis of deciding who runs for President, who runs as VP and who takes the Majority leader slots? We all know they do not carry any competitive nominations.
These are the questions today’s journalist do not ask…not because they do not know they should be asking them but rather the DFs have them in their pockets.

Reminds me of my days as a practising journalist – compromise was the order of the day as news makers would always issue brown envelopes at the end of press conferences. At times I would look at reporters talking about corruption and the Swahili saying “nyani haoni kundule” comes to mind.
It is the time that we took control of what we see on our TVs, read on newspapers and listen to on radio because if we don’t we are going to elect the wrong crop of leaders.

Kenya’s biggest problem has always been ethnicity like it or not and that is one devil we have to tackle and the media has to clearly come out and bring such issues to the public domain. It should not just be about which tribes are uniting with which one as we are seeing right now but rather about very clear policies.

We have moved forward from the Imperial presidency era we had during Moi and Kenyatta’s tenure where resources were distributed based on how you voted and how close you are to statehouse to an era where the system of allocation of public resources is entrenched in the constitution and whether the president is from your tribe or from El-Molo you will still get the resources you deserve.

Ever wondered why candidates like Martha Karua and Ole Kiyapi usually get very little airtime in our news and in most cases its only just a reference made to the fact that they are not joining any coalitions but the truth is these are some of the leaders who address real issues not just rhetoric in their campaigns.

This is why we have to insist to the fourth estate that we expect more from them than they are offering us. At the moment they are playing their main role of shaping the public opinion the wrong way and this is what pits communities against each other and results in post-election violence.

It is time our media became more courageous and asked our politicians the tough questions…like now people are forming coalitions and alliances some agreements being signed at night and we only get to hear about them when things go wrong. wouldn’t it be prudent if the media forced these politicians to tell us what is the contents of those agreements they signed because as it is that is what Kenyans are making their decision based on.

Finally, we all do not have very close access to our politicians and the only way we are going to decide who we are voting for is what we see in the media, if that is so then in order to help us make the right decision the media must come out and interrogate real issues that these candidates have so that when we stand in the voting booth to mark that ballot we will be doing so knowing that we have weighed all options and made the best decision otherwise as it is we will only be voting based on tribal alliances.


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