A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Update Jan 22

One thing that has really been bothering me is lately is how the Kenyan media has just rolled over and played dead during this whole crisis. No contextual reporting, no investigative journalism, not even daring to reprint the chronicle of events that has been compiled by Kenyan election observers…or is my perspective very skewed from out here?? Readers in Kenya, please tell me that the coverage is better than what I’m experiencing. I honestly could go for days without reading the Kenyan newspapers online and still be informed about what is going on in Kenya – how is that possible?

[EDIT] I hear the Nairobi Star published the election report by Kenyans for Peace and Justice in full, despite objections from the senior editor (hat tip A).

And the government is wanting the camps for the internally displaced people to be disbanded by Monday…and these people should go back where (I guess they need to ‘move on’)? If they want to really ride on the moral high ground can they stop wasting money on bizarre full page ads and focus on helping their citizens?

I tell you, most days I’m left wondering how this was the best we could do in Kenya as far as politicians.

On to other things…just wanted to post a summary done by Billy Kahora of an interesting TV interview featuring PLO and Wachira Maina. Among the things spelled out:

– Annual projections of tourism over 2008 already predict that about a billion dollars might have already have been lost this year.

– Rift Valley is the breadbasket of Kenya and those who think they can run Kenya without it from Nairobi should anticipate what the current Rift Valley scenario means for agricultural and food production.

– There are 1.5 million unemployed youth – those few we see on T.V throwing stones have surplus ranks that far outweigh the police – once they learn that stopping motorists for tolls could be a legitimate way to make money life could become interesting.

– The civil service is already shitting in its pants because they now have to look at surnames before they send people to different regions.

Other highlights of the interview:

– Kibaki and Raila are at a place conflict theorists call a Clash Of Absolutes- they are two faiths arguing about which is the true religion. It is therefore pointless to continue to ask them to come to the table without stating what they will talk about like everybody is doing.

– Media won’t really help because they like everybody else have never been in this situation – they have been playing FOLLOW THE POLITICIAN. Professionals should start providing content – the first move according to Wachira would be to realize that there are POSITIONS and INTERESTS. And anyone providing content needs to bring out the latter since these two faiths are part of an upper class that is invested in the well-being of this country. Positions is what we are all seeing on the tube, and are after all hue and cry, before the real negotiations for interests takes place.

– Also, according to PLO, let us not lose the fact that this is probably the single most constitutional challenging moment this country has ever faced. While we talk peace and the meeting of the ABSOLUTES we should not forget the underlying issues that have brought us to the brink i.e constitutional issues, ethnic inequality, inter-ethnic inequality etc.

– The two argue that the clashes have been essentially classist everywhere except the Rift Valley where identity and access to resources are identical and hence ethnicity predominates.

19 comments to Update Jan 22

  • Kivulu

    I agree with this commentary. Kenyan media sucks. Not once and not twice. They suck so much it is not worth reading either the Nation or the Standard. If you need some context, albeit with some western tint, read LA Times, NY Times and the Washington Post. They have their biases, but they give you the real picture on the ground. They also name people and places. Not that crap we read on the Nation and Standard like “one community attacked another.” The US papers also have some in depth investigative pieces that give surprising insight to the killings. Yahoo News is also good.
    The Kenyan blogs, like this one, also give better coverage.
    Once more, Kenyan media SUCKS!!!

  • Dorcas Minya

    I couldn’t agree more with you, the Media in general has failed the Kenyan People and it is a shame that we get more information from the likes of BBC and CNN..others might argue and say they are tainting the image of the country. Well, if the Kenyan media would give us ANY information at all then why would we go off of what the international media have to say? This is a lesson to everyone, we need an independent, internationally (could be by Kenyans for Kenyans) media house that will operate without fear of repurcations from the government or anyone else for that matter and upholding the law of freedom of press with no fear.

  • magothe

    I think the Kenyan media has been responsible-they’ve reliased that they’ve been part of the problem for too long. Every time i’ve read a kikuyu or a luo has been killed I start thinking how members of that tribe feel reading that.

  • Mkalimani

    At least ONE American journalist seems to get a more accurate picture of the situation in Kenya.


  • Kivulu

    I agree that reading about one community killing another may be disheartening but to avoid mentioning the facts on the ground does not change them either. People know who is killing whom and to ignore that in the name of political correctness or whatever does not help. It only shows that the media is either biased or afraid. It is possible to write articles that are balanced, accurate and in a manner that does not exacerbate the situation. The media can write in a way that shows both sides of the story. Case in point, The New York Times had a story about how Kalejin chiefs and elders are organizing raiding/killing parties in the Rift Valley and on the other hand they tell of how Kikuyus are making guns in preparation for attacks. No favoritism there, just facts. Kenyan media will hide it head in the sand until the country has gone to the dogs. They ought to highlight the atrocities committed by the state and by the various waring parties with impartiality, objectivity and temperament. The media should be at the vanguard of showing how this violence will take us nowhere. But as they hide, Kenya burns.

  • acolyte

    For the first week of the chaos the Kenyan media were utterly and completely useless to say the least. This was not the time for self censorship at all, even now their efforts are still woefully under par, I rely on other sources all the time now.

  • Christina

    The Great Divide

    Michael Holman & Greg Mills

    The unfolding catastrophe in Kenya , where elections have triggered the country’s worst crisis and violence since independence, raises questions that go to the heart of Africa ‘s development challenge.

    Kenya , along with Nigeria , the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa , are four African countries which are regarded not only as encouraging examples of political reform and economic progress, but as states with wider potential.

    Not only could they turn their respective regions in West, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa around, but in so doing drive the continent forward. Together they total more than one-third of sub-Saharan Africa ’s 750 million people and over half of its combined economy.

    But elections in each over the past 18 months have not gone quite to plan, raising doubts not only about the path of these countries, but the impact on their regions and the role that external actors might play in ensuring stability.

    The enormously expensive first-time elections in the DRC which elected Joseph Kabila in October 2006 have been followed by months of instability culminating now in fierce fighting in the east. In Nigeria , the government itself conceded that the election of President Umaru Yar’Adua in April 2007 was flawed. In South Africa , the election victory of Jacob Zuma over incumbent Thabo Mbeki as the president of the African National Congress has cast doubt as to future stability in Africa ’s model state. And problems with Kenya’s election on 27 December 2007 has resulted in an outbreak of violence of unprecedented fury, turning a country once viewed as the favourite surf-and-safari destination to just another African country in the minds of those preferring the caricature of the ‘hopeless continent’, one teetering on the brink of disaster.

    Different countries and circumstances, no doubt, from Africa’s largest economy (South Africa) to its largest failed state (Congo), and from a key ally in the West’s war on terror (Kenya) to one (Nigeria) with volatile sectarian fault-lines. But out of each of these democratic experiences, five commonalities can be drawn:

    Tribalism and sectarianism still matters. In Kenya , the race was between Mwai Kibaki, a member of the Kikuyu tribe, the largest in Kenya , and Raila Odinga, a Luo, and battle-lines were drawn countrywide and widespread rigging occurred according to these differences. In Congo , staring electoral defeat in the second-round presidential run-off, President Kabila had to bolster his support through deals with some of the more extremist yet powerful elements in Congolese politics, threatening the Banyamulenge in the eastern Kivu province and explaining current troubles. Nigerian politics remains a balancing act between the oil-rich (and largely Christian) south and populous Islamic north from where the president draws much of his support, and where Islamic law has been imposed in several states. Ethnicity was not to the forefront in the South African contest between the more populist Zuma against the comparatively erudite Mbeki, but provincial returns may hint at a certain bias in this regard.

    Incompetent management and corruption is pervasive and political. When Kibaki swept to power in 2002 he was regarded not primarily as Kikuyu, but as a reformer who led a coalition which promised clean government. Barely a year later the man appointed by Kibaki to lead the campaign against graft, John Githongo, went into self-imposed exile in London . Far from tackling sleaze, the president and his cabinet allegedly initiated a further set of corrupt practices. Corruption and patronage runs deep, much deeper than any peer review process aiming for better governance can instantly address; indeed, it makes the system work to a degree, if only to the benefit of the privileged. While Africa ’s vibrant press generally does an excellent job in highlighting the extent of malfeasance, but this also focuses on the blame on a few individuals rather than the overall system of governance. And donors have done little to help deal with this cancer by using aid as a lever. In Kenya , the truth is, they never had the stomach for a fight. They did not believe it was ultimately in their interests to have a showdown with the barons of corruption. They did not want to upset what they saw as a regional ‘island of stability’ and ally in the ‘war on terror’ from which the UN and other international relief agencies, including hundreds of foreign non- governmental organisations, operate – a business that accounts for one-fifth of Kenya’s annual foreign exchange earnings.

    Unemployment is the critical destabiliser. To see the crisis in each of these four countries only in terms of tribalism and corruption is to miss a vital element. Today some four decades after independence, more than half of Kenyans, for example, subsist on a couple of dollars a day. Fewer than ten percent of Kenya ’s 400,000 annual school-leavers can be expected to find jobs. The picture is worse in Nigeria and the DRC – so bad in fact that statistics are not available. South Africa ’s continuing high unemployment of around 30 percent, nearly a decade and a half after democracy’s advent, along with the slow delivery of basic services is one important reason for Mr Zuma’s elevation.

    Growth is imperative, but not enough. All four have experiences an unprecedented period of recent growth, over five percent annually, buoyed by high commodity prices and better macro-economic management. But for all of the growth, the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening, partly explaining the South African election result and why the mood in the slums of Nairobi , for example, was overwhelmingly in favour of Odinga. For those frustrated at the polls, there is little to lose by taking to the streets driven by discontent over their circumstance and fury at the electoral system. The key challenge for all of Africa remains to find a way to create jobs and growth, though the rise of Asia and relative lack of African labour competitiveness makes manufacturing-driven export-led growth unrealistic.

    Democracy is not an event. A difficult election does not mean the end of progress and reform. Indeed, today’s situation is far cry from when African elections were single-party charades, if they happened at all. However, nor should politicians regard their commitment to democracy and the related need for consensus-building as being limited to an occasional, internationally-scrutinised election day. Whether a winner-scoops-all, executive-centric presidential system is best suited to Africa ’s needs or whether it encourages extreme electoral behaviour in order to stay in power, is also moot. In Kenya , for example, this has led to vote-rigging and, now, violence. Either way, it amounts to daylight democratic robbery. But the system is like this because many African presidents prefer it that way – where power is centred on their offices and the legislative branch of government is kept marginalised and weak as a check and balance on power.

    Outsiders, like Africans, prefer to see the continent in uniform almost linear terms – occasions informing trajectories of renaissance, recovery, decline, or failure. The reality is that Africa is far more complex and recovery vulnerable to continuous setbacks – as such events in key states continue to remind us.

    South Africa apart, the other three highlight the poor record of external actors in exposing graft and delivering better governance. These goals are often sacrificed to the greater apparent good of maintaining a donor-government relationship and regime stability. But the best role that external actors can assume is to be honest in their deliberations about and with these countries, and not attempt to pick and back winners.

    Holman is a former Africa editor of the Financial Times and the author of two recent novels set in Kenya ; Dr Mills heads the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation, dedicated to strengthening African economic performance.

  • Ishara

    We ought to castigate the Kenyan Media, I think they are intimidated by the the consequences of disseminating tough and hard hitting reports. But then again wouldn’t you be cowed too in view of the events over recent years?

    We cannot compare domestic reporting of events to that of overseas reporters-they do not labour under similar restrictions though I have to agree the international media suffers from appalling ignorance, incomprehension and over simplification.

    We know or should know that relying on any one/two sources for news is limiting both in terms of coverage and perspective-read/watch clips from BBC, FT, Al Jazeera, Standard, Nation, NTV and KTN if only to get a better pictures of events on the ground.

    Personally, the papers and telly are ok sources, but the real up to date news in Kenya comes via word of mouth, phone calls and SMS-there are no secrets in this country called Kenya, no sooner than anything is classified secret wananchi find out all about it-then proceed to tell all their realtives and friends.

  • Christina


    At 10 a.m. on Tuesday 22nd January, ten women, representing the diversity of Kenya, will launch a nationwide movement called “Flowers for Peace and Democracy”. We are erecting a foundation of flowers at Freedom Corner Uhuru Park, by laying down 600 roses to commemorate those who have been killed, wounded, raped or lost their homes, and to call urgently for peace and reconciliation, truth and justice.

    Simultaneously, Lt. General (ret.) Ishmael Opande – who is sheltering 80 displaced families on his farm – will bring flowers to the Catholic Cathedral in Eldoret, women will also lay flowers in Mombasa and Kisumu, uniting across social, political and ethnic lines to help heal our country. Across the world the Kenyan diaspora will join us by laying flowers and messages outside Kenyan embassies.

    We call on all women – mothers, sisters and daughters of our Nation, with their families and friends – to join us in this peaceful, apolitical statement. Flowers will be handed out and messages can be written on site. We would like each woman to bring her own flowers and message. In a steady flow – like a river of peace – women and their families will arrive in twos and threes throughout the day, and all through the week, to leave their flowers in remembrance and move on. Communal remembrance through flowers is a powerful yet peaceful symbol for all Kenyans to unite. Flowers are non-political, non-tribal, and non-violent. There will be no political protest, no violence, and no tear gas, just a vast, gathering monument of flowers with a powerful message of silent commemoration. Their numbers can build without becoming threatening, while their message becomes ever more potent.

    The solution to Kenya’s current crisis cannot be left in the hands of politicians alone. We have to stop this terrible slide to destruction, chaos and death. By standing tall as Kenyan nationals, proud of each other, proud to be from the same country and proud of our ethnic diversity, we must come together to heal our communities and stop the violence.

    General Daniel Opande – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    H.E. Bethwel Kiplagat – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    George Wachira – Peace Initiatives Africa

    Mwangi Waituru – Global Action Against Poverty

    Lt. General Lazarus Sumbeiywo – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    Mutuku Ngilu – Peacenet

    Dekha Ibrahim – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    Jane Kiano – Maendeleo ya Wanawake

    Oria Douglas-Hamilton – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    Saba Douglas-Hamilton – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    Yvonne Ohdiambo – Coalition of Concerned Writers

    Irungu Houghton – Oxfam

    Deborah Nyachama – Global Action Against Poverty

    Jocelyn Chepleting – Education for Life Institute

    Frank Pope – Concerned Citizens for Peace

    Mary Gichangi – Concerned Youths for Peace

  • Wafula

    The newspapers, in the words of Daniel Moi, “ziko na wenyewe”.
    The major churches are a much bigger disappointment. So far they have limited themselves to minuscule calls for peace and periodic calls for mediation- not once mentioning the election irregularities.

  • bankelele

    I’d like to think that media houses have their own reports on the election count period/numbers from constituencies and are waiting for the ECK to release theirs first, or for an enquiry to begin on the same. Two weeks ago, the ECK published a list of presidential results in a newspaper, which Chairman Kivuitu immediately disowned though it was ‘signed’ by him.

  • Liisa

    I have been following the news from Kenya through blogs and on-line newspapers, sI have missed the vernacular media which according to a recent IRIN article have been seen as spreading inflamatory statements.
    I feel that the international electronic media might capture the news e.g. catastrophies, but seldom give the background and context, and it is difficult to find reporting on the balancing and constructive forces, which are there and might help restoring reason.
    I think the media has reported on the early signals, but these have not been seen as early warning signals. It is almost as if a certain level of election violence is expected and even tolerated in the hotspots of Kenya. And that almost all constituencies are hotspots during primaries. The contrast between the pictures of the new and recycled MPs at the parliament, and pictures of the voters and communities now struggling to rebuild their livelihoods is striking

  • Kamau

    Totally agree with the utter lack of professionalism on the part of the Kenyan media. For crying out loud, some of the pieces their put on the dailies appear more suited for the writer’s personal opinion journals and not for a multi –ethnic populace. In majority of cases you can predict with a fair degree of accuracy a” journalist ‘s” leaning just by their sir name.

    I feel for the masses especially them that tend to take the articles as the gospel truth. No wonder the Kool aid crowd has exploded in number, just gulping this poisonous bull thanks in no small part to these posers.

    As for the western media, I do not think they are any different – they just happen to peddle the same crap with a little bit more finesse and are a tad more articulate.

  • Ms K

    In a sign of things to come: reports say several Standard editors sent on compulsory leave.

    Now, while i myself have several choice things to say about the media’s performance, right there’s one of the reasons why the media have “failed”. They’re working in an unfair system, subject to the whims of the mheshimiwas and almost always partisan owners.

    Really in the next few years, we must strengthen our insitustions as a basic requirement for growth.

  • DaddyKim

    seems cops dont get tired of getting a crowd excited. Imagine they went on charging at the Ligi Ndogo funeral services presided over by ODM. Deja Vu!

    If the cops were to be logical, you isolate the trouble makers and allow the multitude to continue with their procession, but in this case, well I reckon the order from “above” was to lob the teargas in the middle of the crowd.

    You see we need a force that has some brains, whose actions can be justified in anyway that an idiot can look at it. We need Messiah to get us out of this rot.

    POLICE WERE CAHRGING AT THE DEAD! YOU CANT KILL DEAD PEOPLE! DEAD PEOPLE ARE DEAD! That is an idiot’s guide to what happened today in Kenya’s Kibera’s Ligi Ndogo.

  • Osas

    From my vantage point as an observer whose livelihood does not depend upon the political whimsy of an employer, it is certainly tempting to criticize the Kenyan media for not living up to the expectable standards of their profession. This criticism hits the editors much harder than the journalists, but I shan’t repeat a point again which I have so often made in the past.

    One problem is bribe. The Kenyan media are deeply corrupt. Journalists report about strong and widespread bribing by ODM, and its effects are quite obvious. The other point is abysmally bad PR work on part both of PNU and governmment, and the ridiculously inept “Alfred E. Neuman” ([i]What – me worry?[/i]) GoK spokesperson.

    Anybody who compares the reports e.g. of the Canadian “Nation” journalist Arno Kopecky with his Kenyan colleagues, sees the immense difference both in writing quality, and in non-parochial outlook and depth of analysis.


  • I agree, ty for sharing this..

  • If you are a romantic Romeo, tell the ladies exactlly how
    you will maie them feel like princesses. I am a teenager, and I like too ssurf the net annd chat with my friends foor hours.

    By doing this you obttain thee headset you would like for the
    perfect price tag. If you wanht to have hot dates most nights, then you are using the right service.
    You might not be the most beautiful girl iin the world,
    but beauty is only a light switch away. In simple
    words, it is not impossible to search for true love using the free phbone chat trail service.
    Single chat lines will allow you to view profiles of different person.
    Therefore, one should make sure that he is using thee free chat service off a reputed site.
    This can be both the most nervewracking and exciting part of local phone chat
    dating websites!

    Because things are shifting rather fast, we need to sustain through the times.
    Using the free trail phone chat, people get
    iin a better position of deciding about whether they would like to use the services or not.
    Latino adult chhat lines offer the best onmline dating.
    With the Internet communication has become
    faster and easier. You can also discover whicch of your mobile contacts is
    an ibibo user. Do you feel that restaurant orr
    bars aren’t the right locations to make friendship or to find out the special somebody?
    The gadget is available inn thhe market through various Samsung Chat 322
    deals. Some services also provide a toll free number that youu can use to access
    the network. While chatting, one need not bother about long distance phone bills aas the system uses the
    Internet for communication.

    Some services work like this-if yyou find one person interesting,
    you can leave him or herr voice messages. There is no need for you
    to rush in to anything! You must have recognized extreme use of cell and cordless phones is quite visible around educationmal departments.
    Like a consequence, most eleectronics outlets now sell headsets.
    Most of the local and ive phone chat lines will offer a free trial membership,
    ranging from one to two hours of chatting time. It’s time
    to convey your messages or chit chat for hours together by using mobile phones.

    That said, we live inn a big, bad world and it is very important that we keep our wits about us aand don’t behave foolishly or carelessly.

    How Live Chat helps e-commerce aand online customer support Liive chat however manages to circumvent these problems due to its
    unique nature and can also be used as a sales support tool.

    However, if one particular is seeking a free trail version of
    on the internet phone chatting service 1 can make the most effective
    use of it soo as to understand much more in regards to the software program and itss effectiveness.

    Here is more specific information: There is no significant difference between talking, lixtening and dialing a cell phone whille
    driving. By reading one another’s personal profiles,
    you can get some additional information abojt the person you are chatting with.
    These lines will assist you in meeting new
    people and who knows that you will mee that someone specil at any point
    of time through these phone chat lines. If you want, you can choose
    from other dating options online like Latino phone dating,
    Latio free chat lines or else register in a trial basis
    in Latino free phone chatt trials. You won’t be able tto definitively say whether you hve that chemistry or not simply bby takling part in mobile
    chat, will you? We put in about 10 min utilizing the company and in conclusion haad great fun. Here you will get to know the people
    whom you do not want to see in a bar or a club.
    No, he isn’t deceiving anyone, but rater simply using a singles chbat lines
    dating service to find that deeper connectionn with someone that he
    might not be able to achieve out in public.

    The world of dating has certainly changed in thee years since thhe
    Internet was introduced. With all that information available to you, think carefully the next
    time you havfe the urge to mke a call at a red light, or answer one while you’re on the road.
    Neext tep is to log in the system so that the user can create his profile at frde
    of cost. There are some companies as well wyich give the users
    full freedom to utilize tjeir services in order to
    let them enjoy and become used to thee experience.
    Phone personals are all about what you make them,
    soo turn your next Monday, Thursday, or Saturday night into
    a playground of fun, sexuality, and romance. I forgot what I was thinking
    off in the first place. This is because a lot of people on different parts of the world already take advantage of phone
    chat lines as a way to meet other people. It will alzo
    be easier too turn down someone, if you do not like
    him orr her, iff you two just met and talked to on phone lines.

    I seem to have ost mine.” “There must be something wrong with my eyes.
    In that way, you can use regular phone chat as a tool that improves your dating experience.
    Free phone chat services are available 24 hours a day, so at any
    point if a person feels lonely then he can log on the site and
    speak to other people. If you are looking for a relationship with single Latin men and women, Latino free chat lines help you discover your companion of love.
    For the rationale that mobile phone has change into widely out there, the phone courting
    service has dramatically grown over the past years.
    These lines are only open to people in your area so there is a great chance your relationship will take off.
    How many times have you tried a different service and wished you
    could just call that person up to ask them some personal questions?
    Do you want to make a new start when it comes to dating and meeting new people?

    Long distance relationships are already possible nowadays because of our impressive technology.
    In the midst of our busy lives it can be difficult
    to find a moment to spend time having a real conversation with someone that stimulates the mind and the senses.
    So just join renowned chat line like Latino
    phone chat line, Spanish phone chat line or
    Hispanic phone chat line and have fun. Convenience is the biggest reason why people are opting for
    free phone chat lines. The bottom line is,
    courting providers will continue to vary the relationship
    scene radically. Once a person is satisfied with
    the free phone chat trial service then he can buy the membership package
    which is very cheap and in different formats
    to meet the budget of every individual. So what are you waiting for?
    Free phone chat lines have helped many people to
    find out their soul mates and you should give it a

    Hello, I’m a stranger in this town, could you
    direct me to your house? It is safer to go home on your own or
    meet up with friends. This is the reason people use it as verbal

    Here is my website: free trial phone chat – http://www.youtube.com