Sunday, September 11, 2016
A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo
There are a number of superb Kenyan journalists-Alex Chamwada, Uduak Amimo, Anne Mawathe,Musau wa Nzau, Mukalo wa Kwayera,Gitahi Ngunyi, Kwamcheti Makokha,Tony Mochama, Mohamed Juma Njuguna, Wanjiru Kinoti, Wycliffe Muga, Kevin Mwachiro- this list is not complete; not mentioning a handful of veterans like Philip Ochieng’,Mutegi Njau, Njeri Rugene,Dorothy Kweyu , Joyce Mulama, Rose Kweyu and the late Mitch Odero who have mentored and nurtured the above.
In my opinion, the foremost investigative journalist in the country is
Mohamed Ali of Jicho Pevu fame- no slag or discredit to the equally courageous and brilliant John Allan Nyamu.
What leaves me in awe about Mohamed Ali is his panache, his chutzpah, his derring do, his speak-truth -to- power party pooper mindset-emanating in turn, from his innate total lack of fear for authority-this all the more remarkable at this juncture in our contemporary history where a plethora of blatant and brazen incidents of callous incidents of criminal police and security sector impunity and other acts of state terrorism recently forced journalists from across Kenya come out in furious mass protest.
I admire his life long love affair with Kiswahili-our official and national language-such is his dexterity and comfort with the lexicon, the idioms, the double entendres with this, the most widely spoken African tongue around the world.
As exhibits in the People’s Court to justify my audacious claim attesting to Mohamed Ali’s stellar status, I hereby reproduce Exhibit A-the
coverage of the Westgate crisis; Exhibit B-the expose of the
dastardly plot to snuff out the controversial wheeler dealer Jacob Juma; Exhibit C-the unfrocking of the
charlatan televangelist Kanyari; Exhibit D-the
ruthless critique of Jubilee’s so called 2013 poll victory and rest my case having proved beyond all reasonable doubt that Mohamed Ali and his inimitable squad of which John Allan Namu is a crucial part- are indeed the permier investigate team working in Kenyan television today.
Well, the good news is that the Jicho Pevu giga star and pop culture icon has decided to take it to the next level.
He is gunning to be the next MP for Nyali Constituency in Mombasa County come the 2017 elections.
Enthusiastic residents of Mombasa like
Onyango Oloo (the ORIGINAL!) will campaign night and day to make sure that is a reality- for unlike the empty wind bags who can not think beyond their tribes and the stolen/ counter feight moolah in their ill-gotten swag, Mohammed Ali has demonstrated, week after week in the national living rooms across the country that he is the most qualified people's representative because of his intelligence, his charisma, his articulation and his intimate knowledge of the complex array of the myriad political, economic, social, cultural and other issues. It helps that he is also very easy on the eyes for photographers and knows how to dress.
Friday, September 02, 2016
A digital essay by Onyango Oloo
I am among the almost half a million people who follow Robert Alai on Twitter. So when I saw him announcing that veteran lawyer, former senior prosecutor
Philip Murgor was running for President, I sat up and took notice. I immediately contacted Philip to ask him if it was true.
I have known
Philip Murgor for over thirty years.
We both entered University of Nairobi in 1981-he to the Faculty of Law while I was admitted to the Faculty of Arts. In August 1982 we were among over sixty students who were rounded up and hauled to kangaroo courts on trumped up charges in the aftermath of the abortive coup. The university students- including people like MP Richard Onyonka, the rugby stars Vitisia and Sagala, not forgetting then dreadlocked thespian Kibisu Kabatesi-now a confidant to Musalia Mudavadi-spent over six months in horrid and filthy conditions at the notorious overcrowded Nairobi Industrial Remand Home. Ultimately, because of sustained international pressure and a global human rights outcry they were released and many like Murgor, resumed their undergraduate studies with Philip going on to get his top honours law degree in 1985. A handful of others, like the late
Titus Adungosi, former ambassador to the USA, Oginga Ogego the late
Jeff Mwangi Kwirikia (dad to popular Kenyan music artiste STL) and blogger/activist Onyango Oloo went to receive stiff sentences which they served in full at the Kamiti and Naivasha Maximum Security Prisons.
When I asked him over the phone to confirm what Robert Alai had tweeted,“Wait for the official announcement David” was Philip’s response using the first name I used to go by when I was younger.
His coy answer was poignant in that he did not disavow his bid for the top elective office in the land- just that he would tell us himself when he was good and ready.
Still, the mere prospect excited. Here was someone around my age, someone of my generation, someone I ate half cooked ugali and weevil infested maharagwe with saying:
Let’s do it!
More importantly here was a man whose integrity I could vouch for.
Given his stellar marks in law school, Philip Murgor could have easily gone into lucrative private practice after his pupilage at the prestigious Hamilton, Harrison and Matthews firm. Instead he opted to be a poorly paid state counsel in Kisumu- in effect, bucking the elitist trend by choosing to be a public servant. Although he did set up his company in partnership with his wife in 1992, a decade later, the Mwai Kibaki appointed him the Deputy Public Prosecutor- without soliciting for or applying for the job!
Unfortunately, his diligence and no nonsense approach to fighting criminals was to prove his undoing. After two years on the job- because he was determined to collar and incarcerate the politically connected, deep pocketed thugs behind a high profile cocaine case, powerful insiders in the Kibaki administration schemed, in much the same way that saw the forced exit of anti-corruption czar John Githongo, Philip Murgor was fired from his job. You can read more about the cocaine story by visiting this link , this other one and this one. You can also get a first hand account from this Daily Nation interview he did in 2013.
The good thing about being incorruptible is that you can walk openly in public with your head held high because every night you go to bed with a clear conscience. Philip Murgor simply went back to what he had been doing before- running a successful law firm and raising a wonderful family.
People close to him intimate that Philip is focused on slaying four dragons- the behemoth of corruption; the monster of tribalism; the scourge of inequality and the contagion of impunity.
Is he up to the task?
Well, as the main said, wait for the official announcement.