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Readers have their say

Thursday January 9 2020

Daily Nation

A trader washes gunny bags at Nairobi River, at Grogan area, on October 17, 2019, polluting it. The series on the river's pollution published in the Daily Nation relied heavily on experts. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Input of professionals

The Daily Nation printed my first letter to the editor in 1973, some 47 years ago.

Over those years, 2019, perhaps, recorded the Nation’s highest reliance on relevant professional disciplines in its regular reporting — for instance, on the harmful effects of aflatoxin and the toxic flow of Kenya’s rivers.

This is in addition to Saturday Nation supplements on agronomy (“Seeds of Gold” pullout) and literary commentary.

However, the Nation did not give sufficient news coverage and commentary on other issues that impact on our daily lives — for instance, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25) and the policy misadventure of demonetisation.

Going by the Indian experience, demonetisation is, perhaps, the main suspect of the economic hardships Kenyans are facing.

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The Nation needs to create a profile of professionals in a variety of technical fields, in the same way you tap the opinions of politicians and political commentators who dominate print media and TV talk shows.

Our professionals have talent that rarely informs public opinion and behaviour.

The economist John Maynard Keynes pointed out that, “soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil”. — John T. Mukui, Nairobi

* * *

Impeachment numbers

Events at the Kiambu County Assembly, where allegedly 63 MCAs voted to impeach Governor Ferdinand Waititu Babayao, is, to say the least, an act of impunity and a big lie.

The entire process as reported by the media and the situation on the ground are contradictory.

The NMG public editor, Peter Mwaura, said (Daily Nation, December 20) that it’s a myth to say that journalists as a group are numerically illiterate.

Maybe that myth could be proven true, based on the actual number of MCAs present during the impeachment.

Unless the journalists covering the impeachment proceedings were ‘brown-enveloped’ to ignore some facts, then their numerical literacy is questionable.

If a headcount of the MCAs present were to be conducted, the alleged number would simply translate to ghost MCAs in the county and, specifically, on days when serious motions need to pass by all means.

Accusations against corruption cannot be proved corruptly, else we all agree that double standards are a way of life in democratic Kenya.

The Kiambu County Speaker presided over the sham knowingly and under the oath of the seat he occupies. Think of the perjury and abuse of office! God save Kiambu County. God save our country.

— Mahindo Njoki

* * *

Wrong currency conversion

The article, “EAC must not be left behind in Fourth Industrial Revolution” (DN, January 1, 2020) by James Mworia, Centum Investments CEO, was a good read. However, there were mistakes in converting dollars into shillings.

For example, $2.12 billion was shown to be the equivalent of Sh212 trillion. The correct amount is Sh212 billion. One billion dollar is approximately Sh100 billion, not Sh100 trillion.

We should convert following the American billion, which has nine zeroes, and not the European one, which has 12.

— Githuku Mungai

* * *

Errors, errors, errors

Our local newspapers these days are full of mistakes.

Twenty years ago, daily newspaper write-ups were perfect to the hilt. These days, English grammar — including misspelling, incomprehensible phrases and sentences, at times make no sense.

The editors also assume that everybody knows what various abbreviations stand for — KUPPET, KNUT, KDF, KURA, KeNHA, TSA, TVET and SRC, to name but a few.

In addition, front-page snippets of major stories direct the reader to wrong pages for the detailed stories.

— Japheth Amugada

* * *

Shallow biographies

Two issues concerning life stories in the local print media.

First, they are very shallow. Recently, the one on (Charles) Rubia made one imagine that his political life started in 1992. What of Alderman Rubia and Mayor of Nairobi?

Secondly, most articles get their facts, figures and dates wrong even with the benefit in-house libraries.

— O.K. George, Kisumu

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

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