THE DEEP DIVE 5TH EDITION
We're addressing another pandemic - Sexual and gender-based violence
The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced hundreds of millions of people across the world to contend with things that have been put off or not fully addressed. Kenyans witnessed a surge in cases of sexual and gender-based violence in 2020, but in truth, the scourge of violence, especially violence against women has been part of Kenya's story for far longer. In this edition of "The Deep dive", Peris Gachahi takes a hard-eyed look at the numbers. They are sobering and warrant deep reflection and action from all of us. Read on for the full story. One of the issues that COVID-19 uncovered first was the woeful state of public health across the world. Some of the globe's wealthiest nations struggled to keep the pandemic from collapsing their public health infrastructure. In Kenya, unfortunately, the underpinnings of a weak public health infrastructure are tied to yet another "pandemic", corruption. For months, a team of reporters from Africa Uncensored, The Elephant, and The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project with support from Finance Uncovered looked into corruption around an initiative championed by none other than Kenya's current First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta. Here at Africa Uncensored, our special thanks go out to Juliet Atellah, Purity Mukami and Kira Zalan for their dedicated work on this story. Check it out in this edition.
One last thing...
We're working on a few stories about Kenya's upcoming election. What would you like us to investigate as we get closer to the 1-year countdown to Kenya's 4th election with an incumbent's term coming to an end. Let us know in the comments, on our socials, or via our email: email@example.com
COVID-19: Kenya’s SGBV Survivors Support Systems Affected
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed new strengths and weaknesses alike in our government systems. The noticeable surge in sexual and gender-based violence cases reported since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Kenya in March 2020, has especially shed light on the lack of government-run safe houses. SGBV survivors, unfortunately, have been the casualties of this inadequacy as the available privately run shelters and women's rights NGOs have found themselves in a tight spot due to their limited capacity. In this article, our reporter Peris Gachahi delves into how the pandemic has affected SGBV survivor’s support systems and how the available privately run shelters and civil society organisations are coping. Find the link to the full article here!
Peris Gachahi: Reporter and Fact Checker at Africa Uncensored
HARD LABOUR: The Unregulated Kenyan Surrogacy Industry
This story uncovers worrying allegations about the unregulated surrogacy industry in Kenya.
Poor and vulnerable women recruited and exploited to act as surrogates say they have been coerced, harassed and forced to go abroad without their consent. Surrogate Monica was forced to have a late-term abortion while in a foreign country because the commissioning parent changed their mind. She says she still has nightmares of her dead baby lying in her bed and alleges that the recruiter later tried to renege on paying her. Check out the full video here:
The story reveals the owners, agents and middlemen behind the surrogacy business in Kenya. One agency’s actual ownership trail disappears offshore, via the UK, into the secretive Marshall Islands. Another agency owner shifted his business from a poorly regulated country to a country in Asia, before moving to Kenya.
These overseas agencies act as middlemen, agents, recruiting poor and vulnerable women in Kenya and then marketing their wombs to international clients, sometimes specifically to members of the gay and lesbian communities in the West yet homosexuality is illegal in the country. Some surrogates allege that certain agencies engage in identity forgery and fraud. Here’s the link to read part one of the article.
Meanwhile, some naïve and gullible commissioning parents claim they have been tricked and misled and found themselves stuck in Kenya for months while they grapple with legal issues.
This story also highlights how the lack of a legal framework might be exposing Kenyan children to the risk of human trafficking.
It shows efforts by women policymakers to introduce a law that would, at last, protect both surrogate babies, mothers, and commissioning parents and so far, has been frustrated at every turn by socially conservative lawmakers.
It is also a story of a journalist and her encounter with Josephat Kioko Jahjah, a former Nairobi taxi driver and tour guide and co-owner of African Fertility Agency Ltd, and several police officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) who tried to trap and arrest her. Here are the links to the full article. Read part two of the article here!
Naipanoi Lepapa: Freelance Investigative and features Journalist
Photo Credit: Caleb Larum
JOIN THE NEWSROOM
In the last edition of "Join The Newsroom" we discussed research about the impact that COVID-19 had on journalists in Kenya. At least it started that way! Along the way, we talked about the manipulation of news narratives in Kenya, something that Africa Uncensored has reported about before. Here's that conversation.
What will we talk about next? That's up to you!
BEHIND THE SCENES: The Weed Family Shoot
Editor Ashley Ojak puts together snippets from our series on Marijuana
As you'd imagine, not everything that we film makes it into our final edits. That doesn't mean that the content left on the cutting floor isn't interesting, or funny! Africa Uncensored's Elijah Kanyi definitely put in the work with his series on marijuana, and along the way, filmed scenes and conversations that were interesting all on their own. Ashley Ojak, who edited the entire Uncensored Mtaani series, picked a few of the clips that made her laugh as she made her way to our final edit. Check it out!
PIGA FIRIMBI COVID QUIZ
It is often said that the Piga Firimbi quiz participants are a rare species of the intellectually gifted.
Running the quiz for the past 3 months has been a delight! From relatively trivial lessons like Lupin being the most-watched show on Netflix during the pandemic, to weighty lessons on why, despite its undeniable opulence, China is still not among the world's rich gang- The G7. Being on its final stretch this week, we appreciate the hundreds of participants who have turned out to be worthy stakeholders at Africa Uncensored, offering candid feedback on the quiz and other productions.
Let's do this again soon. Meanwhile, do stay till the journey's end by registering for this final week's quizzes here.
Linda Ngari: Quiz Coordinator and Fact Checker at Africa Uncensored
MONEY, MYSTERY AND PORTABLE CLINICS
Our series on corruption in Kenya's public finance continues...
In 2014, Kenyans turned out in large numbers to support their first lady and her new initiative, the Beyond Zero charity run. It was aimed at raising funds to procure mobile clinics and for other initiatives targeted at lowering child mortality in Kenya. However, in an increasingly familiar chain of events, questions began to emerge about the initiative itself, as well as a similar drive by the government to procure portable clinics. The team of Juliet Atellah, Purity Mukami, Kira Zalan, Peris Gachahi, Moffin Njoroge and John-Allan Namu looked into it, leading them down a trail of curious transactions and yet more unanswered questions. Check out the latest edition of our series, Captured here:
Alvin Kamau: Hello and welcome to your regular dose of great investigative journalism and super depression about how shitty our country is.
Braco Ozito: Thank you for showcasing this..we depend on such investigative journalism to find out the I'll vice of corruption in our country.
George W: Ndio maana usiwahi shangaa when you see a friend growing rich at a fast pace, most get money in illegal ways, which got no blessings but result in cancers.
Felix Onderi: Rotten Kenya!!
Zachary Abuga: If only we had a working system to bail us out of this menace. Sawa tu!
Editorial Director: John-Allan Namu
Assignment Editor: Sam Munia
Social Media Manager: Cecilia Ashioya
Contributors: Naipanoi Lepapa, Peris Gachahi, Linda Ngari, Elijah Kanyi and Ashley Ojak
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