Media must expose greedy, tribal and corrupt leaders

Both national and regional based media houses and journalists must collaborate professionally to expose these greedy, tribal and corrupt individuals ruining the lives of Kenyans. The environment is hostile, and journalists must devise ways of working in order to

While not the only institution expected to shape the national narrative in Kenya and influence some key decisions, the 2020 outlook for media looks decided; Kenya yawns for strong watchdog and accountability crusaders. Through professionally done public interest coverage of national issues, hopefully, media will call out those especially in leadership positions that stuck with skewed manipulative, dirty, sectarian and disruptive mannerisms that have over the years frustrated national development.

Kenyans must be brutally honest with themselves, and refuse to remain prisoners to people who have failed to offer anything of value other than using ill-gotten wealth to buy tribal loyalties to remain in leadership positions.
Media, maybe borrowing from Philip Ochieng, when at the defunct Kenya Times, should introduce segments, where Kenyans will get a glimpse on their leaders scorecard on a number of issues, other than political rhetoric during funerals. With one hand on national issues, the media have to strengthen their grip and coverage of county issues, where massive looting of public resources is happening. Public trust in media is high, and while hostility against journalists is on the increase, Kenyans expect nothing short of serious in-depth, factual and focused journalism, that will expose, educate, inform and interpret issues.

It’s not only irritating but the highest level of greed, when people who have failed as senators, governors, woman representatives, Members of Parliament and Members of County Assemblies presently are already telling us which positions they will vie for in 2022. This political greed that has prevailed in the country creating the space for such evils as corruption, looting of public resources, corporate fraud in the private sector and crime must be called out.

We have over-politicized our thinking and way of doing things, and now, our services including public service and politics are big business and returns dictate how much we give to the country. We must abandon this culture of national greed. We must put to shame such selfish individuals that are holding our country, counties, and regions behind because of money and manipulative politics rather than service to the people. There are Senators who have failed miserably in raising mismanagement of counties including those they represent for 10 years, but now want to go for Gubernatorial seats in 2022, or those who have offered nothing as governors and now want to switch to senators and media is giving such guys space surely. Such greed individuals must be exposed, named and shamed.

This obsession with disruptive politics among Kenyans, is not only puzzling but a threat to the country’s survival. We love dramatizing things to appeal to the emotions of the public, irrespective of the outcome of such negative mobilization, even when aware that whatever is at stake is personal. Our main aspiration to politicize even national issues to help us aspire to get into public service or leadership positions not to serve but to help individual selves.

While people show tendencies to dislike the media, the interest and expected role of the media in the political life of Kenya is becoming intriguing day by day, especially as politicians extend ownership of media stations and co-opt journalists in their everyday life.

Indeed, the fact that the media has become central in political campaigns in the country has best shown in the decline in the significance of political parties. Politicians would rather co-opt media that invest in political parties. In addition to investing heavily in the media in terms of acquisitions, contracting senior journalists to their campaign teams, the political class is splashing serious monies through heavy commercials and advertisements.

To cap it all, those searching for political office would rather say something in the media about their intentions than consult their party members. Politicians and party leaders no longer organise for grassroots support and campaigns, they do not educate voters on the rights and expectations nor encourage them to vote, as should be the case. Media are now providing the all-important link between voters and parties.

Media must take advantage of this trust by politicians to do public interest work, massive civic education and score carding of leaders for the Kenyans. This enormous responsibility and advantage should be galvanized for the benefit of the country.

Let the media move away from concentrating on personalities and dwell on issues that are important to Kenyans. Let us see more and more analysis of political party manifestos and policies in the media more that the dancing shows we are currently seeing.

Both national and regional based media houses and journalists must collaborate professionally to expose these greedy, tribal and corrupt individuals ruining the lives of Kenyans. The environment is hostile, and journalists must devise ways of working in order to bring public interest stories.

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