THE DEEP DIVE 8TH EDITION
We're kicking off our 2022 election series with a powerful letter to Kenya's youth
Statistics, trends, even prose all speak loudly about the importance of Africa's youth. The continent is young and energetic, with one hand on the door that opens into the future. Yet for some countries on the continent, the other hand is tied firmly to a status quo of misgovernance and corruption. Elections should be the way that Africa can move forward, but, again, they are merely tools used to establish status quo politics and leadership in some African countries. Kenya's 2022 elections hold out this choice to Kenyans once again; will it be more of the same, or will there be a true transition to leadership that takes the country forward? We're launching our election series Disclosure today, which will feature articles, fact-checks, in-depth and investigative features that speak to Kenya's election. Our first article sets the tone nicely; it is written by Kenya's former Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga. It is a powerful letter to Kenya's youth; written with unflinching honesty about where Kenya went wrong, and what young people can do to set the country on the right path. We're also featuring an excerpt of a book speaking to one of Kenya's darkest moments, the 1982 coup attempt. Former Kenya Airforce Captain. (RTD.) Frank Mũnũku was among those arrested and accused of being behind the August 1st coup. He fought the claims and won a settlement against the Kenyan government. His book, "Wounded in friendly fire" paints a picture of that time from the eyes of someone in the eye of the storm.
One more thing...
Our monthly conversation, "Join the Newsroom" is back on Thursday, 5th August. After a very interesting hour spent talking about data privacy in our last edition, we're switching topics to kidnappings, as requested by subscribers to this newsletter. Read on for details on how to register for the discussion.
Enjoy this edition of The Deep Dive!
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We're talking about the re-emergence of kidnappings in Kenya.
Over the past few months, Kenyans have been horrified by true stories of abductions of young women and children. Some of these stories ended with rescues and arrests, but often these ordeals have ended painfully. Videos of the exhumation of kidnapping victims are on social media, and the media's reporting of the same makes for a chilling reminder to keep safe. On Thursday, August 5th between 7 pm and 8 pm, as suggested by some of our readers, we're diving into this discussion. What is behind these kidnappings? Is the media doing a good job of reporting the same? What are your concerns about the subject? You can register for this discussion using this link.
Disclosure is Africa Uncensored’s series focusing on Kenya’s Democratic Culture ahead of the 2022 election. In this segment, we feature in-depth and investigative articles and documentaries, explainers as well as reflections from some of Kenya’s great writers. Our first two reflective essay comes from Kenya’s former Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga and creative, Robert Mūnūku. Mutunga writes an impassioned letter addressed to the 75% of Kenya; the youth. For Mutunga, the challenge of rescuing Kenya from violence lies with its young people. Robert Mūnūku writes
Let’s keep it here ⬇️⬇️⬇️for some great reads…
Wounded in Friendly Fire
It has been 39 years since the 1982 Kenyan failed coup d'état. It was on the 1st August 1982 when a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force took over Eastleigh and the nearby Embakasi Air Base and attempted to overthrow then-President Daniel Arap Moi’s government. A subsequent security sweep caught not only the putschists themselves but also exploited the opportunity to detain several prominent figures.
The book "Wounded in Friendly Fire" is a narrative by Capt. (RTD.) Frank Mũnũku detailing his experiences in the Kenyan military during the 1970s. The story captures events in the run-up to the 1982 Kenya attempted coup d'etat when he was wrongfully arrested & incarcerated.
In this article, Robert Mũnũku shares a perspective through his father’s experience in the search for justice to date.
A letter to Kenya’s youth: If you want peace in 2022, protect your Motherland.
Celebrated American author James Baldwin’s bestselling book “The Fire Next Time”, first published in 1963, was written with the urgency of a man who knew what lay ahead for his country should the demon of racism not be exorcised. Indeed, the Black Lives Matter movement was in many ways the fulfillment of Baldwin’s prophetic writing. In this first reflection, Kenya’s first Chief Justice under the 2010 Constitution, Willy Mutunga, pens a letter addressed to Kenya’s youth, and the urgency of his writing exposes a fear that many have for Kenya. Mutunga writes with the experience of a man who has been in the trenches fighting for a better country, dividing this essay into four main parts. This article is written from Mutunga’s rare vantage point, having lived one time as a dissident wanted by the law, and later at the very top of Kenya’s judiciary.
Breaking, Hot off the Press news quickly becomes fodder for fake news peddlers
Over the past few weeks, news included President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit to the United Kingdom for the Global Education Summit and an overturned tanker accident that took place in Malanga, along the Busia-Kisumu Highway. Piga Firimbi looked into claims- unrelated images and videos, and outrightly fabricated information surrounding these events. There was a misleading tweet that used footage from Colombia to apparently show what took place before the overturned tanker that claimed at least 13 lives in Malanga exploded. In a fact-check published here, the team found that the footage is from an incident that occurred in Tasajera, Colombia in 2020. At the same time, a fabricated tweet shared as an image appeared as a quote apparently shared on the Citizen TV Twitter handle. The fake quote attributed to Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa mocked those who died while siphoning fuel from the overturned tanker, calling them "fools". See this fact-check here.
On the back of President Kenyatta's UK visit, followed the fake news too. A video showing him shaking the Queen's hand circulated online, harboring claims like, "Queen Elizabeth doesn’t shake hands that easily but she shook hands with H.E Uhuru Kenyatta”. Not true. At least not this time, as Piga Firimbi found here that the video is from 2018.
Laikipia's Wave of Conflict Continues...
The recent wave of conflict in Laikipia is a complex web of violence that’s been a feature of the region as well as it’s neighbouring counties for decades, in a region inhabited by both farmers and pastoralists. This conflict, largely attributed to diminishing pastures for pastoralist communities and local politics has led to loss of lives and livelihoods. “It is time we addressed the scarcity of pasture and water in pastoralist regions to pre-empt conflict that emanates from struggles for temporary access during periods of drought” says Miriam Mwangi, Governance Expert.
“Periodic clashes between pastoralists and private ranchers have left a trail of death and destruction in Laikipia and in other parts of the country. We have regrettably lost many lives and livestock in waves of cyclic conflicts. That the pattern of the internecine invasions and the causative factors is predictable, reinforces the necessity and the urgency to bring it to a decisive end.” CS Fred Matiang’i said.
For a period of three years, Africa Uncensored crew documented this conflict; The End of The River series, a journey through Isiolo, Laikipia, Samburu, Baringo,Wajir, Nyandarua and Nyeri Counties in a fact finding mission during one of Kenya's worst droughts that tore community relations apart.
Abdullahi Abdurrahman Hirsi Osman: Thanks for this, I think the problem is the national government of Kenya is not investing in this region and not trying to change the life of people in the north, for instance, once the north is badly flooding and once it is severely dry. Government should build dams so that people can produce something for themselves and for their livestock at the time of the dry season.
Intel Fx: It is sad that greed is causing all this... we need more documentaries to show what is really happening with our forests.
tonnygatch: Africa Uncensored, kudos on the great work you guys are doing. I know I'm commenting on this 2 yrs after it was produced but I know and believe that there is a solution to these problems facing pastoralist communities in our country. With little guidance from the government, these communities do not have to change their lifestyles but they can be able to change their landscape to suit them so they can be able to feed their animals and not leave the pastures bare esp during the dry season. The problem with our leaders is that they know the solution to the problems that affect people but they don't want to be proactive in solving those problems before they kill people.
Francis May: These pastoralists should reorganize themselves from a Sacco such that in the times of drought can make peace with the rangers by compacting with little money , instead of using force to grass on their lands remember this is their land and they are entitled to whatever they like with it.
The Kenyan: These large tracts of land owned by white settlers should be expropriated. If the land was legally acquired, expropriate with compensation. If illegally acquired, expropriate without compensation. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.
Editorial Director: John-Allan Namu
Assignment Editor: Sam Munia
Social Media Manager: Cecilia Ashioya
Contributors: Linda Ngari, Dr. Willy Mutunga and Robert Mũnũku
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Every Kenyan youth must hear this, especially the piece by the former Chief Justice Willy M.