Last Monday (16th March 2020), a fellow sporting the name Elijah Muthui Kitonyo was arrested by Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) agents, on charges of “publishing false information that may cause panic, contrary to Section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act of 2018.” If found guilty, Mr Muthui faces a fine of up to KES 5 million, or a jail term not exceeding ten years, or both.
Early this week, the Daily Nation published an article titled “Study reveals over 500,000 abortions are done yearly across the country.” I read it with a lot of interest, because I am one of those annoying nutcases who think the conversation about abortion should not be had in my absence.
I recently read an article about sexual abuse, written by a victim of sexual abuse. In the article, the author candidly narrates the horrors of being taken advantage of. She also describes the confusion, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts the abuse engendered in her, reactions which unite her to most other victims of sexual violence. You can read it here for yourself.
We Kenyans live in a society that glorifies being first. We are bred to be racehorses, to top the class in academic performance, to outrun our competitors on the field, to earn the highest salary, to steal the most from the government. Ours is a hyper-competitive existence. It conditions us to always gun for the top.
Twice Uhuru Kenyatta has been publicly confronted about the situation of homosexuals in Kenya. Twice the Kenyan President has said that this is a non-issue, something culturally unacceptable, a conversation the country is not ready to have. The first time, in 2015, his interlocutor was then US President Barack Obama. The second time, in April 2018, it was CNN’s Christiane Amanpour’s turn. She was following the lead of British PM Theresa May.
I first learnt of David Ndii during his feisty debate with Bitange Ndemo in 2014. In alternate articles carried out on the large pages of the Daily Nation over a number of weeks, both men defended their views on what constitutes true national development.
When I was young, we had this weird notion at home that only visitors were allowed to leave scraps of food on their plates during meals. You know, to show that food was not their main reason for visiting. For us, the hosts, food, once on the plate, was meant to be cleared.
Crocodiles are dangerous animals. Unlike most animals, which kill almost exclusively for food and self-preservation, crocodiles like playing around; they often kill just for the fun of it. And they are very efficient at doing it. They’ll firmly grab their prey in their teeth and roll fast in the water to disorient and drown the victim. When a croc has you, death has you. Once done, they’ll go and stash your mangled remains among some reeds for your family to collect and bury.
Sometimes I wonder to what lengths journalists should be allowed to go in their attempts to defend their opinions. Should they be allowed to twist facts to suit their cause, or should their editors be more stringent in enforcing adherence to the truth?
All Anne* wanted when she left her poor home in rural Kenya after finishing high school in 2014 was to make some money in Nairobi so she could go back, clear her fees, and redeem her certificate. Then she could apply for college.