WHY I OPPOSE MEDIATED PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES.
Until we proved ~ via blogposts and tweetstorms ~ that it was not possible for maize imported into the country on authority of recent uplifting of the ban on maize importation to arrive in the country within the time frame that the imported ‘Mexican maize’ got here, the mainstream press totally blacked out this bit of information.
Yet, this information was critical as it proved all along there were cartels ready to bring maize in Kenya, which were only kept offshore due to legal and policy constraints.
Cartels, as we all know, thrive by manipulating government policies. In some instances, especially where cartel power is so overbearing, the cartels initiate, develop, implement and supervise the policies!
And in monopolistic economies like ours controlled primarily by powerful oligopolies, cartels can wreck the sort of havoc that Kenyans are currently suffering from.
And yet, this isn’t what was in my mind.
The media coverage of this Jubilee maize scandal must be seen within the context of a supposed live presidential debate that the same totally partisan and heavily infiltrated media is organizing.
So long as there are “no go zones” as regards exposing corruption and thoroughly covering questions of public probity on the current regime, the current media environment cannot hold Uhuru accountable and therefore cannot conduct a debate that provides sufficient information for people to make informed choices on.
Presidential debates are referenda on incumbents. They seek to hold the incumbent, who had a legitimate mandate to rule for a time, to account while prodding any other potantate for alternatives. But we have a media-Jubilee complex that will hide and black out real issues while focusing on non-issues and sideshows.
The long and short of this post is that without a bipartisan commission, committee, working group etc to set the rules of the debate, and remove the “no to zones”, the planned debates will be useless.