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Hussein Khalid on the Shakahola Massacre.; The Big Picture Episode 4
In this week's episode of TheBigPicture, John-Allan Namu talks to human rights activist, lawyer and Executive Director of HAKI Africa Hussein Khalid about the Shakahola massacre.
Make sure you check out this episode that will premier on our YouTube Channel on Thursday 29th June at 12PM. You can set your reminder on this link.
Africa Uncensored’s Cynthia Gichiri nominated for the CCNow 2023 Awards
It is an honour to be among the finalists of the 2023 CCNow Journalism Awards. Our story, Nowhere to Run, that looks into the plight of homelessness caused by climate change and the flooding lakes phenomena is listed in the documentary category among pieces from some of the most reputable media houses in the world.
To say that we are elated is an understatement; and emerging among the top out of more than a thousand entries from across the world means a lot to Elijah Kanyi and I, as well as the Africa Uncensored team. Moving forward, we aim higher than the skies.
CCNow Awards, by Covering Climate Now, recognizes the best stories on climate change emergency and its solutions. We also congratulate our fellow Kenyan journalists who also made it to the list of finalists.
Kenyan baobab trees uprooted for export to Georgia by Calvin Rock
In November 2022, the attention of the country was drawn to a bizarre incident where gigantic, age-old baobab trees were being uprooted in sections of Kilifi County. Pro-environment civil society organizations and well-meaning Kenyans were up in arms over the uprooting of the trees, especially after it turned out that they were meant for export. The public outcry even got the attention of the President who ordered an investigation into whether the process had followed all legal structures. The Cabinet Secretary for environment, Soipan Tuya, even issued a statement revoking the license that allowed the exercise.
After a lot of research and speaking to sources in Georgia (the country), where the uprooted baobab trees were destined, the intrigues of this matter are more baffling than it appeared at first. The trees were purportedly being exported for educational purposes. However, it emerged that the person behind the exportation is the billionaire former Prime Minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili. According to sources in Georgia, he has previously been behind uprooting of gigantic trees in Georgia for planting in the family-owned Shekvetili Dendrological (tree) Park, which, interestingly, is located right in his backyard. Lore in Georgia has it that the billionaire, a confessed lover of gigantic trees, believes gigantic trees can prolong his life and cure his sons of albinism.
As conversation around the uprooting of the trees dies down, questions still linger as to why a government would allow its country’s resources to be taken away over someone’s “addiction”. Yet, on the flip side, there are the locals who sold their trees and believe this was a heaven sent opportunity since the money they got eased them from the stern glare of poverty. The details are as baffling as they are intriguing — Read the story here.
Cynthia Gichiri’s Reflection on Pressed Freedom.
Journalists strive to tell stories about people; calling out the vices and urging for accountability amongst duty bearers but we seldom speak about our own challenges. Listening and sharing the experiences of my colleagues and experts in the wake of increasing threats to press freedom is humbling and scary on the one hand. However, it's encouraging to note that we all share optimism that by doing what is right and the future of journalism may not be bleak after all.
Samuel Munia’s Reflections on the Pressed Freedom piece
Traditional media is in the process of transition to new technology, the economic models in the legacy media have been broken while revenue continue to shrink. This development has rendered my journalists jobless. Other challenges facing Journalists includes: violent physical attacks, Intimidation, censorship and poor renumeration.
Journalism is where you learn to give voice to the stories around you. The stories that are told with professionalism, integrity and human connection. However, stories about journalists remain untold.
Working on this story was sad but also fulfilling. It’s a documentary that should help us rethink about how we conduct our business, offer solutions to existing challenges and whether journalism has a future.
Samuel Munia is our Assignment editor at Africa Uncensored
#JoinOurNewsroom; 29th June 2023
This week we also have a Twitter Space lined up for you. Our Journalists Cynthia Gichiri and Tracy Bonareri will be leading an important conversation that we all need to have; Media Freedom.
Set your reminder to join our newsroom this Thursday at 7PM on this link: