Presidential Candidate Who Started Own Newspaper After Being Denied Advertising Space

  • Kenneth Matiba, who vied for the Presidency in 1992 against then President Daniel Moi, started his own newspaper after a local daily refused to put his campaign advertisement.

    In a column in the Nation, journalist Kamau Ngotho explained that while working for Mr Matiba, they took the advert to the concerned media house and after it was accepted they paid the full amount.

    The dispute, however, arose when a top media executive noticed the advert and ordered it's removal.

    [caption caption="File image of Kenneth Matiba"][/caption]

    The reason was that the said media executive feared reprisal from the Moi government as an advert could be misconstrued to believe the media house was supporting his opponent.

    Mr Ngotho conveyed that they informed Matiba of the rejected advert and he received the news in a nonchalant manner.

    “Leave them alone, after this campaign we are launching our own newspaper and where we will carry adverts from everybody, including President Moi,” Matiba stated.

    Just as he promised, Matiba launched the People Weekly newspaper, which later changed its name to the People Daily.

    The writer further expressed his admiration for the Ford-Asili leader, conveying that he (Matiba) had a deep respect for constitutionalism. 

    Even though he knew that Moi had stolen the 1992 elections, he still hung a huge potrait of the KANU leader in his office.

    His explanation for that was: “Look, everybody knows Mr Moi stole my election victory. But since he was declared and sworn in as the President, so be it. I just have to live with that much as I disagree with it.”

    Matiba disclosed that his relationship with Moi started in the 1960s when they were incharge of the Ministry of Education as Minister and Permanent Secretary respectively.

    [caption caption="File image of retired President Daniel Moi"][/caption]

    Since then, he helped Moi put up some investments in property and a beer distribution firm called Rift Valley Distributors.