Wednesday March 18 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga celebrate the launching of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, on November 27, 2019. The media should hold the two to account concerning the implementation of the report. PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA | AFP

‘Slap on the face’, my foot!

The eighth paragraph of the news item “Kiunjuri shown the door as Uhuru stamps authority in Cabinet saddled with strife” by Justus Wanga (Daily Nation, January 14, 2020), reads: “This was taken as a slap on the President’s face.” The correct idiom is “slap in the face”.

Effectively, you should have written that “This was taken as a slap in the face” (omitting “the president’s”).

I have always opined that journalists should develop the art of proper writing in English; otherwise, leave the newsroom.

— Kimathi Mwirichia

Public Editor: This has been changed in the online story “Did Uhuru sack Ruto’s running mate?” to read: “This was taken as a slap in the President’s face.” If “the president’s” must be included (the context does not require it), this should read, correctly, as: “This was taken as a slap in the face for the President.”


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Investigate driving tests

Kindly send your investigative journalists to NTSA where they are doing road tests for driving licence. They are extorting Sh2,000 from every trainee driver in Nairobi. If you don’t have the money, you are failed.

— 0724584XXX

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The media is killing BBI

I take this opportunity to critique the media on their collective behaviour towards the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

They are wholly responsible for the political strife now threatening to “burn the bridges”. This is contrary to the desire and intent of the two patriots who designed and commissioned the BBI roadmap for national prosperity and peaceful coexistence.

I will use a Gikuyu idiom to make my point: “Wakana muno witunyaga nyama na yenda muno ikuraga rurira (Over ambitiousness precipitates immaturity, and over possessiveness disenfranchises bona fide beneficiaries).”

This is the two-sided scenario that best describes the momentous political mobilisation campaigns in the name of the BBI.

This is also the conventional wisdom that should be the “guiding sensors” for both the direction and tone of the high-energy public debates-cum-high stakes political competition.

The heat is so intense that the competition now compares to the Last Man Standing international championships.

The media are not telling, or rather guiding, the two patriots toward the direction of the objectives of the ‘Handshake’.


Instead, they appear to be enjoying bumper news scoops by running lavish stories about the politicians and the succession contests instead of the noble ideals of the BBI.

Either by design or default, the media have already ignited electioneering passions and emotions with their divisive news coverage and reports full of partisanship, [which] is contrary to the spirit and letter of the BBI.

This raises very serious concerns over the media’s role in the amplification of the inflammatory rhetoric and public anxiety and tension that undermine and sabotage the progressive entrenchment of social ideals, values, principles and practices of responsible citizenship espoused in the BBI.

The big questions citizens want answered by the media on matters BBI are: why are media not reminding the two patriots about their dual commitment to ending the recurrent election violence? Why have the media largely neglected their cardinal civic duty to protect and safeguard public interest in the BBI?

Why are the media not making independent and neutral observations and interpretations in the backdrop of the public expectations from the promises given by Uhuru and Raila?

Send your complaints to [email protected] Call or text 0721 989 264