August 9th is a day that is still in my head for some reasons At around 11 am the leader of the NASA coalition presented claims that the election had been allegedly “hacked” and the systems tampered with. The media carried out the presser on live time but never chose to discuss it to full length in their panel discussions. It was only KTN’s Joy Doreen Biira who did a full analysis of the claims.
On August 11th Wafula Wanyonyi Chebukati announced the win of Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 8th poll. The same night protest occurred in parts of Kisumu, Mathare, Kibera and opposition areas. It did not take long before social media reports indicated the sound of gun fire in this area. The alleged reports were never covered during the night of the elections. I remember sending out the tweets to media stations trying to figure the situation that was going on in these areas but to no avail.
Flashback to a day before the election the six of NASA election consultants who had set up base in the country in order to help the coalition to set up a tallying center were deported. The tallying center was allegedly raided in the night by the police. The media never ran the story. Infact it was never given any importance.
The media during the election process and after the election has sidelined opposition stories. It has been very keen on not ruffling the government’s feathers at all.
Flash forward to the campaigns during the repeat poll of the general election the media covered the protests in a very crude way. Before the election the protests organized by the opposition the protests which were in turn broken up violently were tainted as violent and the supporters labeled as crooks. For instance during Election Day a senior editor at KBC allegedly ordered reporters not to cover the opposition protests.
Many media houses refused to cover these issues because they were fearful of the results. For instance it would have been more polarized and escalate the tension in the country. However this led to protests from the opposition with it turning to the international press for its coverage. If I can point out Raila Odinga did two interviews with international press one on August 9th and another on October 27th which were aired by media stations a day after they were done and after they had circulated a lot on social media.
The blackout to the opposition has been carried out still and there is little coverage of its press statements or events. This was after the Communications Authority of Kenya banned the coverage of live political broadcasts.
The notion that “the media is in bed with Jubilee” might be a correct narrative as they have failed to point out the elections carried out on 26th showed a divided country and have joined the bandwagon of accept and move on which is dangerous. Still waters run deep it is time the media woke up from its slumber.