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Monday, October 21, 2013

Propaganda invades Kenyan TV news


"These guys are spinning so much that it is making me dizzy." that was a comment from a leading media analyst to me last night.

Spinning, PR and media are mighty powerful. Done with the skill that is obviously somewhere in State house, it sways public opinion and turns lies into solid facts and solid facts into unconfirmed hearsay.

I have watched with horror as bloggers and popular columnists have started churning out articles that suggest the crimes against humanity committed in Kenya in 2008 are nothing and are best forgotten. Justice  can be considered another day... maybe.

Recently the ICC judges did an unlikely thing in granting President Uhuru Kenyatta reprieve and excusing him from attending most of the sessions in his trial which starts next month. Already the president had given a strong indication that he would not attend. The news hit the TV stations as breaking news. The same TV stations that have been highlighting the very few voices that are against the trials proceeding and giving the impression that it is the view of the majority worldwide.

But let's cut to the chase and try and analyze the president's game plan. It is clear that what is at play here are delaying tactics. The very opposite of what an innocent person would do. Indeed this is an age old favourite strategy in Kenyan courts. Actually it has not only been used in cases with political implications but also in ordinary criminal ones. For instance some folks in files arrive at some poverty stricken homestead somewhere in Kenya and announce that the land belongs to them. The case goes to court and drags on for decades. Meanwhile the funds of the poverty stricken family (whose financial standing was carefully analyzed before the land thieves moved in) are running out maintaining their lawyer on the case. In many instances they finally give up and hand over their property to the evil but clever land grabber.

The ICC is of course a different league altogether and so the question is what is the end game in getting a one year deferral? Well a lot can happen in a year. Politics can change, terrorist attacks can increase and witnesses can pass on etc.


What was Raila Odinga's involvement in the 2008 post election violence? This explosive article is a wee bit sensitive to publish online but you can see it in a few seconds, please read it in your email inbox for FREE).

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