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‘Nation’ owes Africa correction and apology on Lumumba assassination

February 13, 1961 (photo caption): Deposed Congolese premier Patrice Lumumba (left) is killed by Lunda tribesmen in Southern Katanga, following his escape with two colleagues from a prison farm. Katanga’s Minister of the Interior Godefroid Munongo said the village in which Lumumba and his two lieutenants had been killed would be given the 3,000 pounds reward offered by the government for the capture of the fugitives (Nation, Today in History, February 13, p.20). What is the source of this woefully distorted and misleading piece of African history? The eminent African statesman and hero of Congolese independence was assassinated on January 17, 1961 in an imperialist neocolonial plot jointly hatched by the Belgian government, the CIA, Joseph Mobutu and the short-lived secessionist republic of Katanga.

Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa on Monday berated her Public Service counterpart Moses Kuria for interfering with her docket, in an escalation of a power struggle within President William Ruto’s administration (Nation, February 14, p.6). Kuria had said the government was spearheading amendment of the law to address the plight of artistes.

Jumwa said: I like the zeal of my colleague and friend Moses Kuria and in the spirit of one government approach this opinion is valid. However, my ministry through the [Department] of Culture, Arts and Heritage is in charge and is working to streamline the industry.

Is Jumwa here “berating” (angrily criticising) Kuria? Check reporting tone. Is this an “an escalation of a power struggle within President William Ruto’s administration”? Accuracy and fairness? The headline: Jumwa and Kuria in public tussle over artistes plight on earnings. Better journalism would have been about the law amendments Kuria spoke of, or how the Department of Culture is handling the issue, ama niaje? But personalities – and imaginary fights – trump issue-based reporting.

Besides appointments, which now seem increasing [sic] elusive, the church leaders where [sic] promised amenable operational regulations (People Daily, February 12, p.4). What are “amenable operational regulations” in simple English?

Stocking the embers of controversy yesterday, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said the Opposition has drawn a line in the sand and would reject any changes spearheaded by the Nelson Mkanda-led IEBC Selection Panel (Nation, February 12, p.4). The expression is “stoking the embers”, not “stocking”, meaning adding fuel to the fire.

The retired Assistant Inspector General joined the service after graduating with first class honours and his fast rise in the ranks suggest his brilliance and effectiveness (Star, February 12, p.2). Graduated with first class honours in what? From where? Story didn’t say.

The former Deputy Inspector General had driven himself to hospital on Saturday from his rural home in Nyeri, on the advice of his doctors (Standard, February 12, p.12). What was the doctors’ advice, that he drives himself to hospital from his rural home in Nyeri?

Universities could be banned from offering diploma and certificate courses if a new law before Parliament is enacted (Star, February 14, p.8). That’s clear. And then: The move, meant to strengthen tertiary institutions, would be a big blow to universities, which are already reeling from financial crisis. This is contradictory. Universities are tertiary institutions. How would barring them from offering non-degree courses “strengthen” them, yet the move “would be a big blow to universities, which are already reeling from financial crisis?

Evangelical leaders anticipate economic and social upliftment during American Pastor Benny Hinn’s visit. Over 6 million Christians expected to attend the event at Nyayo National Stadium (The Standard Digital, February 14). Leaving aside the rather unlikely promise of “economic and social upliftment”, you can’t pack over six million people inside Nyayo Stadium. Alas, that would be the combined population of Nairobi and Kiambu counties. A disaster.

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