'Toxic flow' story will not die

Wednesday March 18 2020

A polluted section of Nairobi River at Grogan, Nairobi County, on September 17, 2019. Those polluting the river should be reined in. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

I read John Waithaka’s concerns in your column titled "'Toxic' Flow award-winning story, but where is the follow-through?” (Daily Nation, September 13, 2019).

First, on behalf of the entire team that worked on that project, I wish to thank him and also extend my appreciation to hundreds of other readers who at personal or official levels have reached out to us to commend us, give us various feedback and tips on follow ups or point out how else we could have done better to improve the project.

We are very touched by his kind words. Indeed, it was a big project that took us months to put together and execute.

I also agree that without follow-through, then it will be just another story.

I can assure John and other readers who have asked us similar questions that this story will not die.

We are determined to keep it alive and, in coming months, you will see what else is in store to take it to the next level.

— Paul Wafula, Business Editor, Daily Nation

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DCI should take action

Some follow-through action should include the DCI and DPP to investigate Nairobi Water Company for licensing and connecting facilities to discharge effluent into public sewers then into rivers without compliance, contrary to section 108 of the Water Act 2016, as read with section 13 of Water Quality Regulations 2006.

— (Name withheld)

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'Our Heritage' series too Eurocentric

“Our Heritage” series on page 2 of the Nation mostly focus on stories that touch on white people. I don't blame you.

I blame the way we were all brought up, myself included. Please consider running stories about African heroes and heroines, such as Lwanda Magere, Kitili (Maluki Mwendwa), Wangu wa Makeri....

And when done, let’s talk about how Ethiopia was never colonised and the Battle of Adowa, where they beat the Italians to a pulp.

Let's talk about the civilisation that existed in Zimbabwe long before the white man came. Let's talk about the African narrative as opposed to the white narrative. Let's talk about pre-colonial prowess of the African.

— Ken Kariuki

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Unnamed sources

Newspapers run stories and indicate their sources as unnamed sources since “they are not authorised to talk to the media”. How then does the media authenticate the reports before publication?

— Julius Waweru Gatere

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Public editor erred

One of my most favourite newspaper columns is Peter Mwaura’s Public Editor’s Notebook, which appears in the Friday’s Daily Nation.

To my mind, and I believe to many others, his articles are informative, well-balanced, factual and certainly borne of the author’s long experience in the field of journalism.

He is among the rare breed of good newspaper writers and editors we have around.

I have read his compelling article titled "'Toxic' flow award-winning story, but where is the follow-through?” appearing on the Friday, 13th September 2019.

And couldn’t agree more with him that the investigative series is a masterpiece that deserves a Pulitzer Prize, among other possible awards.

In the article, the public editor takes us down memory lane to June 1973 when his own story, “The drug scandal”, became the first major investigative piece to be published by Nation newspapers.


As fate would have it, however, the publication didn’t seem to sit well with then-powers-that-be in government, consequent to which he was arrested and held at then-CID headquarters, which, according to him, is “now Integrity Centre”.

Unfortunately, that is where he gets his facts wrong — and probably for the first time!

For the record, the then Criminal Investigations Department (CID) — the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) today — has never been headquartered at the location but rather in the immediate neighbourhood, precisely the current Nairobi Regional Police Command offices in Kilimani.

The headquarters was established there in the early 1970s, where it remained until 2003, when it was relocated to the more spacious and relatively modern Mazingira Complex.

In the 1970s, at the site of Integrity Centre, as it is known today, initially stood the famous Star Light Club before the premises were reconstructed to host the now-defunct Trade Bank in the 1980s.


In 1997, the bank premises were acquired by the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (the predecessor to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and now the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission) and renamed Integrity Centre.

In conclusion, this unsolicited correction is purely for the sake of factual history and not intended to denigrate at all the good work of the public editor.

After all, to err is human and the public editor’s error of fact in that article should be seen in that light.

Otherwise, I hope and pray that he will continue to inspire young writers to follow in his well-trodden footsteps in the field of investigative journalism to even scale the heights of well-researched, informative and incisive stories.

— Peter Mwangi, law enforcement and security management consultant

Public Editor: According to its official website, in 1975 the CID moved to Kilimani on Valley Road, and in 2003 to the Mazingira Complex, off Kiambu Road.

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