Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka is a man under siege for snubbing a QTV journalist, Kennedy Murithi, on grounds of his ethnic affiliation to the ruling Jubilee Coalition. Kalonzo, a leader of a national stature was absolutely wrong in his insinuations. Whether or not the issue is being blown out of proportion, he could not have been move reckless in his statements at a media briefing. And just as expected, his ‘partisan’ comments have attracted fierce attacks from very familiar quarters; the ‘righteous’ media fraternity as well as the politicians from the opposing camp. Politicians are very predictable!
While watching the 7 O’clock news yester evening however, I decided to test Kalonzo’s theory. Guess what, as much as I would hate to admit it; he was absolutely right. The social media was divided right in the middle with the names betraying the opinions of whoever was out commenting on the trending subject! We were divided right in the middle in line with where our ethnic allegiance and political loyalty lay. Why then was it a major surprise when the national leader epitomized the already established prejudices that we harbor? Are we, just like our politicians so bent towards living the political means of divide and rule at the expense of actual national unity? Have we really stopped looking at ourselves in terms of where we come from, whether Kamba, Luhyia, Kikuyu or Luo?
The other surprising factor was that our media seemed to have embraced the righteousness tag in the whole melee! One of the questions I expected from the media, one which apparently never came was whether Kenyans think that they have been objective in their reporting or whether they have shown bias in some areas as was implied by Hon. Musyoka. None of these was asked. Our media played the victim. The victim in an apparent game where even journalists are bribed to air stories!(I have been solicited by one before). An environment where with a few ndovu’s (bucks) you can have a journalist at your beck and call. This, I know is no news! And maybe, just maybe Kalonzo knows that game so well!
At the end of the day, it’s all about the coalition that makes the most noise. Whether creative or destructive, the public; the compact majority, will always be aligned according to where their allegiances lay.