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Old guard is the mafia, old guards are simply aging watchmen

There are high expectations among aspirants jostling for Jubilee tickets ahead of today’s unveiling of the list of candidates by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party following vetting of thousands of applicants (People Daily, April 29, p.2). Never start an intro with “there are/were/is/was/”. The words convey little. They slow down reading. Try instead: Expectations are running high among aspirants…

They include Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah, Lugari MP Ayub Savula and Deputy Governor Philip Kutima, who are both eyeing the governorship (People Daily, April 19, p.14). Three politicians are named in this sentence. You use “both” in reference to two people or things considered together.

Running mate headache for Azimio la Umoja as leaders dig in (Standard headline, April 20, p.6). Nassir fresh headache as Shahbal hints he may vie as independent (p.8). Headaches kibao in the news.

Raila retains allies and old guards as ODM primaries end (Standard headline, April 21, p.21). Story said, “ODM leader Raila Odinga’s closest allies and old guards got another chance to defend their seats through the coveted party ticket as the primaries ended in the region”. The writer has no idea “the old guard” and “old guards” mean different things. People who have been in an institution or associated with a leader for long and are perceived as conservative are “the old guard”, a collective noun. “Old guards” are simply aging watchmen.

Trouble for Wanyonyi started last Tuesday when he was summoned to State House and implored upon to step down in favour of Igathe (People Daily, April 22, p.5). To implore is to beg, plead with. The expression “implored upon” is incorrect.

Former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho are among the four individuals being considered as possible running mates of Azimio One Kenya coalition flag bearer Raila Odinga (People Daily, April 22, p.6) Why refer to someone by an old title in the intro when they have a current one? Karua is the Narc Kenya leader. You may use former titles later in the story.

How will Azimio choose a running mate for their presidential flag bearer? Here is what the papers reported on April 22:

People Daily: The four, whose names were proposed yesterday during the first ever Azimio Council chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will now be subjected to interviews and interrogation by a five-member committee…

Daily Nation: Opinion polls to gauge popularity of potential nominees will be used to pick a running mate for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance Coalition Party presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga…

The Standard: And yesterday, the odds were clearly stacked against Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka as the coalition party tasked a team of seven to pick the lucky woman or man to deputise Raila Odinga.

The Star: A seven-member committee was formed yesterday to evaluate all the candidates by this weekend and propose two names to Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta for the final decision.

So, fomu ni gani?

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