SMUGGLING, STEALING AND COUNTERFEITING
The Deep Dive 30th Edition.
If you are worried about how far your shilling is stretching today, then you are alive to the serious problems that the global and local economy face. Stock-outs of basic commodities, high fuel prices and struggling businesses are the hallmark of today's world, from Brussels to Bujumbura. But where many see crisis, smugglers see a huge opportunity. Smuggling denies Kenya's economy approximately 7.5 billion US dollars every year. For context, that can build two Standard gauge railways plying the Mombasa-Nairobi route and the Nairobi expressway (even at their reportedly inflated price tag)! Our new explainer series on corruption, "How to..." begins with some brave undercover reporting by Africa Uncensored's head cameraman Elijah Kanyi to expose smuggling operations across the Kenya-Uganda border. Kanyi writes about heart-pounding moments in the middle of his reporting assignment, so read on for that back-story.
We've been working hard on another series of documentaries AND a weekly show, launching in the month of July! We'll be having a live launch of the same in Nairobi on July the 8th and you are invited! If you'd like to come to the live launch, reach out via any one of our socials and we'll be sure to get back to you.
As always, dive in!
They will kill you.
No one wants to talk about smuggling especially in Western Kenya. Because both Police and smugglers know each other, if you try to speak or snitch about the business, you, your family and your clan will be dealt with properly to be an example to others. This was the advice from the people helping me produce my story on smuggling at Kenya’s border with Uganda.
Before any undercover assignment, you have to study the place to have an idea of what and how to film. I was warned at first, not to carry any cameras with me.
“If the smugglers find out what you are up to, there will be no two ways about it, you are dead”.
I am being told this while in the middle of No-man’s land between Kenya and Uganda; my heart is racing but I am still listening. All sorts of scary thoughts start to flood my mind. I will confirm later to the team if I want to tell the story or not.
A few minutes later we make it to the retail shop in Uganda.
I am introduced to the lady at the shop where I am going to buy the product the following day.
The lady at the shops tells me how risky it is to sell export cigarettes, that she has been arrested before and that she has to be careful not be arrested again because it’s expensive, but the risk is worth it. Smugglers make good money from that business. She explains most of everything I need to know about how cigarettes are smuggled, who to bribe and how much to part with 10,000 Kenya shillings; that’s a lot of money for a Ugandan business person, but it can all be made back in one deal.
My biggest fear is getting arrested or discovered by the smugglers at any point in my journey. Smuggling is killing our economy and the sad part is that the people who should be providing security and order at the border are the same ones doing the dirty business.
Watch my ten minutes explainer to understand how smuggling works, and who it benefits. As for who it undermines, just look in the mirror. I am grateful to be part of a team that is passionate and dedicated to telling the truth.
ACCER Award Winner Calvin Rock Reflects on his Journey
When I started out with the conception of the story Saving the Planet one EV at a time, I quickly immersed myself in it. As my professional debut, it was a journey of discovery and enlightenment, especially about the gravity of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
With help from colleagues, particularly Kabugi Mbae and Joy Kiriga, I gave the story my all. Yet, never in my wildest imagination did I think it would win a continental award especially pitted against seasoned contestants with decades of experience. I was as shocked as I was elated to emerge 2nd runner up in the TV Journalist Category.
There were more than 160 applications from all over Africa and to emerge amongst the top 3 was quite a humbling. I would like to thank God for everything! I would also like to thank my colleagues and the entire team at Africa Uncensored for the story was made successful by team effort.
Many thanks to Ashley Ojak who did an awesome job editing the story. It's my prayer that this win may just be the beginning and open more doors for me and put Africa Uncensored ahead of the rest!
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently launched a countrywide expansion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme at an event in Mombasa in February 2022. Affordable healthcare for all, alongside affordable housing, food security, and manufacturing, made up the illustrious Big 4 Agenda that was the flagship strategy of Kenyatta’s second term, with a bid to ensure that all Kenyans have feasible access to affordable and quality healthcare by 2022.
In the grand scheme of things, the jubilee government has fallen short of its promise as true coverage for all Kenyans is yet to be realised.
Read the full article on our Website on this link.
Join us this Wednesday for our First Instagram Live!
We will be unpacking the Stained Future Piece by Sophia Rukwaro which looks into defilement cases in Kenya especially during the COVID-19 lockdown where, at least one case of defilement was reported in every three days according to Childline Kenya.
Editorial Director: John-Allan Namu
Assignment Editor: Sam Munia
Social Media Manager: K Muraguri G
Contributors: John Allan Namu, Sam Munia, Elijah Kanyi, Calvin Rock and Uri Ludger.
Before you go…
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