Back and forth

My thoughts are all jumbled up. I have this need to say a lot of things until I end up not saying anything at all. This post has jumped the queue; there are two pending posts in my head that for a fortnight I have been unable to wrap my head around.

Oh well..

I am TIRED of hearing that Kenyan journalists are corrupt, incompetent, in bed with politicians and a whole lot of other accusations. This is not a defense, I am just against the blanket condemnation. Also tired with the lack of solutions offered. It is easy to critique but it is hard to build.

The questions should be how do we train journalists better, how do we make media houses hire qualified journalists and not the ‘celebs’ and how do we make media houses pay journalists better? While we are at it can we kill the neutrality myth and let journalists declare who they support as no human can be neutral!

I recommend the book Elements of Journalism by Kovack to all interested in journalism. A powerful read. HERE is a summary.


The shilling rose up to 107 against the dollar. Nairobi rumour mills alleged that five banks were behind this spike and that they were making billions in profits. Interest rates were hiked and people who are servicing loans are hard hit. Enter parliament. A committee is formed to investigate. It says that banks bent the law to defraud Kenyans and recommends censure of Central Bank Governor, Prof. Ndung’u.

When the report is tabled, ethnic considerations take centre stage as MPs from Central raise to defend “their man”. Then appear reports in local dailies that banks have allegedly poured 300M for the MPs to be “lobbied”. On the day of voting only 83 MPs out of 210 are in Bunge and the part recommending removal of Prof. Ndung’u is expunged from the committee’s report. This is Kenya!

In 1989, Julie Ward was raped and killed in Maasai Mara. Her dad has spent a lot of time and money trying to bring her killers to book to no avail. Her killers clearly enjoyed high level protection and Kenya was a banana republic where there was no justice for wananchi only for wenye-nchi.

Fast forward to March 2012 and Nairobi LAW Monthly carries a story on which it alleges that the killer was a son of an ex-President. This happening shortly after another son of the ex-President was committed to jail for not paying maintenance for his divorced wife and child. Is this Kenya?

Closer home, a road that was to be built 20years ago in my estate is finally getting built. In related development, there is a Railway sub-station getting built near my estate. Developments that just recently were only on paper and part of the “mythical” Vision 2030 are suddenly take shape and getting real. Is this Kenya?

In the midst of the noise it is easy not to see the change and lack of change. Some things are changing; other things are remaining the same. Back and forth Kenya keeps going. I pray that the forward movement outdoes the backward movement and Kenya attains the heights it should.



3 responses to “Back and forth

  • Saitonne

    There is good. It’s just easier to sit back and criticize… I’ll admit I’m guilty of it. Somewhere somehow it became cool to restrain our feelings and not look impressed by anything.
    That good old childhood excitement is quickly nipped in the bud by cynicism.
    I’m taking my excitement back… Do you know how exciting Thika road is? The underpass and the momentary darkness you are plunged in? The fact that the trip to school which only last year took me even 2 hours or worse two and a half hours can now be completed in 25 minutes?
    25 MINUTES!!!

    I want to go on road trips and enjoy seeing what this country is.. I mean it’s okay if other countries have all these things .. but this is Kenya… my Kenya that I can’t recognize anymore because she’s growing up so fast 🙂

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