Side Bar at 8 was the show to watch this week. The show discussed the current security situation in Laikipia County. The show which lasted the one hour and there was a lot of things to take from the interview but we can focus on a few things.
The spinning game
This was the first thing anyone could have noticed on that show it was about cleaning up the image of the police and the people who have died. The media has been focusing on the number of cows which have died and how the pastoralists are being treated by the police. The media has been very keen to put the police as brutal.
The Laikipia leadership also tried to play down the Lenokulal and Ole Lenku press briefing which condemned the killings of the cows. Laikipia Govenor Nderitu Mureithi had a very tough demeanor and he seemed very angry throughout the entire interview and he kept on hammering on one point the human lives that have not been highlighted since the start of the coverage by the media.
The show also brought out a few issues which are worth covering:
Does the police narrative actually hold water?
The governor brought out the issue of human lives being lost but the police have not been straight forward on covering this issue. The police put out a press release through George Kinoti the police head of communication put out a press release claiming only that 75 cows have been killed. They have however not mentioned how many people have been killed in the shoot out and what they are planning on doing.
Larry would have invited at least a member of the police force in order to make sure they have also brought out their side of the story and what really happened on the ground. This would have brought a little bit more objectivity in the story and brought a new feeling to the conversation.
Whose land is it?
This is something that has been coming up a lot and there are a lot of things that needed to be addressed in discussion. The issue of land has been very thorny issue in Laikipia. This has been especially where private ranchers land has been encroached on by the pastoralists who claim their land has been stolen from them and they want to use it without asking for permission from the herders.
Though it is an issue that needs to be discussed upon on its own it can be addressed in more and more discussion in order to find out what exactly is going on in these areas. There a lot of things the media and more so media outlets can come up and make sure that things have been addressed in the right way.
The number of people who died in the shoot out
The number of people who have died in the shoot out is a number that needs to be expounded on in order to come up with the people who have died. Though Larry came up with death certificates the evidence is inconclusive and a death toll number needs to come up as soon as possible.
Overall the conversation was really needed in order to bring a national discussion on this matter in order to come up with a way forward in the nation and especially in Laikipia. The conversation could have been more balanced to include the police and other areas.