Was the taxpayer-funded gazillion-jigawatt megaphone fair® and balanced®? “Balance and access” in KBC election coverage on the state-owned boob tube — a BBC 2.0 “content alliance.” From right to left: PNU (Kibaki), ODM (Odinga) … Source: EU EOM Kenya 2007.
Noor Adam screamed his children’s names again and again as he lay bleeding from a bullet wound in front of his blazing shop, but they burned to death anyway. The Kenyan shopkeeper said the fire was started by police from a different tribe. Police deny the accusation, though human rights groups accuse them of unjustified killings and excessive force in response to riots protesting disputed election results that have killed more than 300 people. –International Herald Tribune, Jan. 5, 2007
- Kenyan Political Violence: Checking Back With the Morgue
- Kenyan Political Violence: A Quick Trip to the Morgue
And who is the Mars Group — quoted in today’s East Africa Standard, is why I googled them up — anyway? The “about us” page on their Web site answers:
Thanks for being inquisitive!
And that is about they tell you about themselves. Their domain is registered anonymously:
Registrant Street1:96 Mowat Ave
Registrant Postal Code:M6K3M1
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Contact Privacy is apparently an antispam and security solution for
… domain name[s] protected by the WHOIS Privacy Serice [sic]
Quick googles, we warn, as always, are not the font of all practical wisdom or a substitute for actually changing out of your pyjamas and finding stuff out. The Internet is not a complete and exhaustive record of all human wisdom (and folly, though it does seem rather heavy on David “Fear and Misinformation Abound”-style fear and misinformation sometimes). The Standard cites their director today:
Mr Mwalimu Mati, the director of Mars Group, said it was bizarre that the President would name a Cabinet before talks to end the crisis. “It is more bizarre that he has appointed a Cabinet that excludes a large part of the country. This will not address the question of whether he is occupying an illegitimate position,” he noted.
On the man cited as Mars director in the Standard today, Mwalimu Mati, see
- Kenya Corruption Activist Sacked (BBC, June 26, 2006)
Did the Kenya police influence the outcome of the Kenya general elections 2007?
The media coverage of the sequence of events on Sunday, December 30th. The chronology of events is critical to understanding the genesis of the current Kenyan political crisis. What we have here has all the ingredients of a civilian coup. Once Kivuitu walks into the plenary hall at 4.37 pm to announce the results, the stage is set for a dramatic showdown between ODM – which had earlier presented compelling evidence of massive rigging in 48 constituencies – and ECK chairman, Samuel Kivuitu. Rigging evidence is further supported by statements to the media by former Juja MP and aspirant, William Kabogo and Imenti Central candidate, Professor Julius Meme.
These allegations are later corroborated by the report of the EU Observer Mission.
I have to catch up on the EOM‘s doings and sayings.
Any meaningful resolution of the ODM-Kivuitu impasse was scuttled by the storming of the plenary hall by GSU troops. Opposition MPs, agents and the media were ejected from the hall. Outside, more GSU and Administration Police surrounded the building and cleared the compound.
Only The Nation is left to record events, while the KBC (above) is the only gazillion-jigawatt megaphone left turned on.
A lone Nation reporter was still filming the unfolding drama. And he captures the arrival of the Police Commissioner’s car. However, the Police Commissioner was already inside the building, having walked from Vigilance House. He walks to his car past an armed GSU guard. Most of them seem unsure of what to do. Only a few salute. Brigadier Ali’s car follows behind that of Justice Minister, Martha Karua who had made a quick arrival and departure.
Minutes later Kivuitu declares Mwai Kibaki the winner of the election.
Only the state-owned KBC is allowed to broadcast the declaration. KBC swiftly transmits the material to all other media houses.
About an hour later, Mwai Kibaki is sworn in at State House by the Chief Justice in the presence of the Attorney General, his key aides, supporters and military chiefs and Brigadier Ali
Within minutes, ten people are killed in Kisii.
Killed by whom?
Later that evening John Michuki, Minister of Internal Security through Bitange Ndemo, the PS Ministry of Information, issues a circular banning all live broadcasts in the interests of public security and good order.
Any resemblance to the Iraqi Minister of Information — “There are no American tanks in Baghdad,” he yells, over the roar of Abrams main battle tanks zipping past in the background — may not be entirely coincidental.
Two days later, Samuel Kivuitu admits that he does not know whether or not Mwai Kibaki won the general election.
Still floating around, waiting to be ruled in or out by the reality-based community: “The police gave badges and guns to the Mungiki.”
Uhuru Park, published in the New York Times, January 4; see Kenya: “Uhuru Park Will (Not) Be the Kenyan Tiananmen-Zócalo”
“Kenyan Finance Minister issues belated Anglo Leasing Caveat Emptor 4 days before Election” (Mars Kenya Group, December 22); will follow up when I get a chance, and see also Krolling and Trolling: Anglo Leasing on the Kenyan Dole?