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Keep lynch mobs out of TV talk shows, issues not personalities

Trevor Ombija hosts a bull fighter called Boni Khalwale, promising young opposition politician Edwin Sifuna, good debater and top lawyer Otiende Omollo and nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, for a morning show. Great panel and with great humour too.

Problem was, in the live TV wrestling and the crossfire that followed, so many innuendos, nay, defamatory statements, were made against persons who were not present to defend themselves.

In the debate, certain people were put on the dock of the court of public opinion, charges read and a guilty verdict passed – never mind that some of the citations are still matters before court. And Ombinja seemed to make no attempt to rein in his panelists on these delicate grounds.

Look, unlike parliamentary and court proceedings, TV and radio talk shows are not privileged forums that can be used as a defense against libel and defamation. And we must resist the temptation to invite lynch mobs as guests in our TV and radio talk shows.


Chief Justice David Maraga finally took a bow and waaah, didn’t the old man exit with such a storm – spilling the beans on no less a bigwig than the President!

Which begs the question – did the media let down Maraga during his term as head of the Judiciary. Did we side with – whether consciously or otherwise- the Executive in its endeavor to ‘fix’ the Judiciary?

We say here ‘consciously’ or ‘subconsciously’ because the media might also have had an axe to grind with the Judiciary. What with the hefty libel awards that the judges have been dishing out against the media – including some won by the judges themselves – for various errors of omission and or commission by the poor scribes.

Maybe the newly found boldness in the now retired CJ might just serve to repair the love-hate relationship between Kenya’s Judiciary and the media.


Has anyone noticed that there is a mushrooming of gospel TVs on Kenya’s mediascape? We dare say that there are more gospel TV channels in Kenya than secular ones.

So, you switch to one and find some Nigerian pastor preaching the prosperity gospel. You switch to another one and find another pastor casting out demons that leave the congregation in a violent stir. You go to another and find a pastor inviting those watching to send money to his number for special prayers and telling them that his God’s eye can see lots of witchcraft around them.

One of them will be preaching during daytime and showing movies that are not suitable for family viewing in the afternoon and at night.

Well, we have no problem with religion. But we have a problem with any religion quack out there who uses media to feed Kenyans with mistruths, false prophecies and false promises of prosperity.

We have a problem with false prophets; cons using the media to milk poor Kenyans of their hard-earned coins. Maybe time has come to regulate how gospel TVs are licensed, and tighten the noose on existing ones to ensure their content is truly meant to save the lambs for God and not entice more lambs to their dinner tables.

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