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On Raila ‘Standard’ let down readers

We return to the Owner of the Earth. Once a fiery critic of the Jubilee administration which he considered illegitimate and proceeded to be sworn in as the People’s President, Raila is today the staunchest supporter of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government.

He reportedly wields immense power in government. What power exactly and how does he wield it? That is the question the Standard sought to answer in a splash titled “How Raila is calling the shots” published on Saturday, August 10.

“Kenya’s de facto opposition leader has made a name for himself as a man who thrives best in times of crisis,” journalist Jacob Ng’etich told his readers.

So, is Raila opposition leader or calling the shots in government? He can’t be both.

“The country is now witnessing the rebirth of a man who is calling the shots at a time when many thought he would be basking in the rays of a retirement sun.”

Granted. But how is he calling the shots?

“This time, having failed to beat President Uhuru Kenyatta at his game, he joined him to walk the political path.”

Halafu? Political analyst Javas Bigambo is quoted as saying Raila is unrivalled in political manoeuvring. Who needs a political analyst to see that?

“To Bigambo, in the history of Kenya, there has never been an opposition leader who wields as much influence as Raila currently does.”

Ahem, opposition leader wielding influence in government means writer Ng’etich and his bosses at Mombasa Road need a lesson or two in civics.

“While speaking at the funeral service of Kibra MP Ken Okoth, Raila told the mourners at Moi Girls Secondary School in Nairobi that together with the President, they would unveil a housing project in Kibera.”

That is true. It was in the news. So what? How is Raila calling the shots in government?

Look, people spend time and money on newspapers to learn about things they didn’t know. For the umpteenth time, how is Raila calling the shots?

“On Wednesday, Public Service and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia called on the former Prime Minister to brief him on the preparations being undertaken for the upcoming International Youth Day.”

She did. So?

“Prof Kobia was just the latest senior government official on the sojourn to Raila’s Capitol Hill office in Nairobi which has turned out to be one of the busiest offices where the President’s senior staff, political leaders and opinion shapers battle to get photo sessions with Raila.”

What’s “on the sojourn to Raila’s Capital Hill office”?

We stop here. The Standard cheated its readers. The splash had nothing at all about how Raila is calling the shots. Nothing new. This is a form of fraud.

Promising readers something you don’t deliver is unethical journalism.

We have stated it here at least once previously. The Owner of the Earth is no longer opposition leader in the proper understanding of that designation in democratic politics.

The opposition critiques government, keeping it on its toes. It is the alternative government in waiting.

Raila is in government – although it remains unclear what his JD is exactly.

Because he does not have a formal position in government, the most reasonable thing is to assume that His Eathequakeness is playing clever politics, with some agenda in mind.

Is he calling the shots? That is a matter of opinion, unless a journalist shows us exactly how.

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