By Dikembe Disembe
The mainstream press in Kenya has once again shown the worst inconsistency when it comes to objectively reporting on ‘bad news’ on top Jubilee politicians or this Jubilee regime, in general.
Take for example the simple issue of who owns Weston Hotel, an imposing serene hotel adjacent to the now famous Lang’ata Primary school which had its playing field grabbed to accommodate the vehicle parking needs of Weston Hotel guests. A beautiful hotel!
While normal citizens have gone out of their private ways in exposing Deputy President William Ruto as the owner of this hotel, the media’s editorial slant has been to peddle a fallacy that the owner of the hotel is ‘unknown’ and believed to be a shadowy businessman called Patrick Osero.
This is not the first time the local press peddled an incomprehensible lie on Kenyans. When ICC wanted details of President Uhuru in relation to wealth, Lands cabinet cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu hurriedly mopped several land registries using students picked from the Uhuru regime-compliant Kenyatta University (so they claimed).
Ngilu returned a verdict that President Uhuru owned no land in Kenya, and the media peddled this egregious lie hook, line and sinker.
For Weston Hotel, even after one of the main media houses running a prime time news feature on Deputy President William Ruto as a ‘newsmaker’, and covering him supervising works in Weston Hotel among other self-owned businesses, the same media house, including the reporter who covered the story, are also ignorant of who owns Weston Hotel
Who, if anyone, is currently in charge of the journalistic truth?
On twitter, a businessman by the name Jacob Juma, who, going by his knowledge of the business world of this country, has proven beyond doubt that Weston Hotel not only belongs to the Deputy President, but the contested Â Langata Primary School playfield was grabbed to turn it into parking bay for Weston hotel as the hotel had turned its ground parking bay into store.
As this saga rolled and rolled, an event advert by being hosted by Weston Hotel appeared in another mainstream newspaper – the import was – the paper had been bought out of the real saga: “he who pays the bills makes the rules”.
Then the dubious opinion piece by columnist Macharia Gaitho, “Â Why are land-grabbers and thieves suddenly emboldened to claim loot?”, he asked.
Always, whenever Gaitho writes an opinion piece, the gist has always been towards the end.
Throughout Gaitho’s piece, he blames all and sundry for the return of Jubilee Alliance land grabbing orgy, from Jomo Kenyatta to Evans Kidero. But he also, not surprising at all, includes the name of opposition leader Raila Odinga – a factual error.
Raila’s mistake in the whole scam is because he is the leader of the political opposition which Nairobi governor Dr. Evans Kidero – a central player in Nairobi land grabbing scams – belongs. Raila Odinga is guilty because Dr. Evans Kidero is guilty. Raila Odinga is guilty for not whipping Dr. Evans Kidero.
“The Cord opposition led by Mr Odinga must, therefore, take a share of the blame for the return of land-grabbers in Nairobi, unless it can show that Governor Kidero is not toeing the party line as, maybe, his loyalties lie elsewhere,” Gaitho claims.
So Raila’s name get dragged into this scam because he leads an opposition coalition which constitutionally has no role – no role at all – to oversight an elected official in his official capacity? It’s like Gaitho is saying all counties whose leaders were elected on the CORD ticket in the previous election are answerable to Raila Odinga? And, worse, that Raila Odinga has a constitutional role to oversight the so called ‘CORD governors’? Can he also oversight Alfred Mutua of Machakos County?
Gaitho’s reductio ad absurdum (reducing things to absurdity) argument, broadly, suggests that governors work under political party codes and rules. This is utterly false.
Gaitho himself recognizes that throughout his tenure as Lang’ata MP, Raila Odinga put at bay land grabbers andÂ buccaneers of the ’90s whose lust for any public space/land could be seen from the outer space – say Jupiter.
That for the over two decades he was MP, Odinga successfully stopped several attempts at grabbing public land and, or, embezzling public properties in Lang’ata constituency which houses one of the largest public/community land acreages in Nairobi with no proper documentation – the Kibera informal settlement area.
To blame, rather than praise, Hon. Raila Odinga, baffles me. It heralds a new feat in the usual sanctimonious lies by Gaitho. Â It is like the senior Nation columnist operates in an evidence-free zone!
Raila Odinga yuko tu sawa.