Why Media failed in the coverage of Machakos primaries

By David Mwenda

On Saturday morning, the Saturday Nation ran a story on the bungled Wiper party primaries in Machakos. Wiper Party primaries seemed to have caused a big stir. Bernard Kiala seems to be the unhappy man in the entire fold and he wanted to make sure that he got justice and he wanted his case heard.

However, this is a large correction by the media for the poor coverage of the primary in Machakos. The media failed to make sure they have done their job. The poor coverage of the election has made a lot of things and thoughts on the entire process and whether the media is ready to cover this election. This is the thing that makes me want to question if they were willing to do this job.

They got lost in the confusion

The media got lost in the juicy confusing stories of Wiper leaders who having tussles on the nominations. They discussed the statements being made by Francis Nyenze and forgot about the main thing they wanted to discuss. They got into the murky waters of covering the Kitui primaries and forgot all about Machakos.

There was also confusion of the people who were vying. Was the party settling without a primary? Was Bernard Kiala left out of the whole thing? Who bothered to go to court and check if there was any pronouncement of the Machakos primaries? These were the questions I asked myself when I was watching Choice 2017 where Bernard Kiala was the guest.

The media seemed to have rushed to the story after the dust had settled and this made the entire thing. This is why Ben Kitili set up an interview after the party was done. This was the only time the story has mentioned like a big story by any media outlet.

This was a very juicy story but it has been left to die down by our media gatekeepers. This is why even when the party tribunals gave a ruling it was carried out as a minor story. The story seems to have generated a lot of traction after it was announced that the polls was going to be repeated.

Set up a tallying center for credibility

Media outlets need to have set up tallying centers and check for discrepancies. This is why they need to make sure they have set up a tallying center. This will ensure they have done their job of being a watchdog of election credibility. The media plays a bigger role than just giving us exclusive interviews and talking to politicians and covering their events.

The tallying centers do not have to be fancy but they can keep in check the numbers and have the right number of votes coming in the country. With the tallying centers together they will be able to keep in check the opposition, government and the IEBC. This way they are a watchdog and they avoid causing any commotions.

Back to Machakos, they should have set up a center in order to verify the votes and make sure they were not at all inflated by anyone. This is why they needed to step up the game and caused a stir with the win of Wavinya Ndeti who was declare winner with very “funny” amount of votes


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