Govt Steps in After Heated JKLive Interview Upsets Kenyans

  • CITIZEN TV'S Journalist Jeff Koinange In an Interview With the on Monday, November 25, 2019
    Citizen TV news Jeff Koinange in an interview with on Monday, November 25, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
  • The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has launched investigations following public uproar after an episode of the JKLive show hosted by Jeff Koinange on Citizen TV on Wednesday, February 20.

    Through a statement on Thursday, February 20, NCIC strongly condemned utterances made on the live show by guests Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot and his Narok counterpart Ledama ole Kina.

    "With regards to the statements made on JKLive yesterday, the matter has come to our attention and we strongly condemn such utterances that may hinder cohesion in the country.

    "We urge Kenyans to maintain peace & continue engaging in the BBI process even as we look into the matter," stated the commission.

    A screenshot of Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina (left) and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot on Citizen TV on Wednesday, February 20.
    A screenshot of Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina (left) and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot on Citizen TV on Wednesday, February 20.
    Citizen Digital

    The discussion on the show revolving around the anticipated Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Narok took a turn for the worst when ole Kina weighed in with his views on Maasai land issues.

    "I think one of the biggest priorities for the Maasai is land-use policies. We are people who have been marginalised for a very long time. We are very hospitable and welcoming, so people come into our area, take our land and subdivide it.

    "This is our land. Any visitor is welcome there to do business. But if today I go to Kiambu, I will be welcome to do business, but I cannot run for office there. If one buys agricultural land, it remains agricultural land. He cannot subdivide and bring his tribesmen or his friends there because of the scarcity of resources," he stated.

    Koinange stepped in and dismissed Ole Kina's sentiments as tribalistic, a matter that Cheruiyot agreed with and warned that the path being taken by his Senate colleague was to the detriment of Kenyans.

    "If you allow these kinds of conversations, you don't have to imagine where you will take us as a country. Countries like Rwanda and Somalia got to where they are due to these kinds of politics. If you hear him tell you that he cannot go to Kiambu and run for office there, he is justifying wrong," he stated.

    The show remained a trending topic for the better part of Thursday, February 20, with many people arguing that the show had perpetuated tribal talk.

    "This is a dangerous talk by a people who want to instill fear in a section of the citizenry of this nation. A leader who can utter such words live on TV is dangerous. Kenya is greater and bigger than any individual. God is on the Throne, He will see Kenyans through and we shall not fight," ODM director of communications Philip Etale wrote.

    In response, Olekina hit out at Twitter users that they were biased in attacking him and the episode yet when other leaders hold meetings they stay mum.

    "All those bashing me can't handle the truth. When Uhuru held a meeting in Sagana and addressed it in Kikuyu, no one complained! When Ruto invites his tribemates to Weston Hotel to discuss Kalenjin issues Senate Majority Leader does not throw tantrums! So juvenile!" he stated.

    In 2017, Kenya Film Classification Board guidelines and the Media Council of Kenya’s code of conduct restricted the media from carrying contents that may invoke feelings of contempt, hatred, violence, and inflammatory statements.

    The two boards further directed that it was the role of the journalists to ensure that their guests respect everyone's opinion even from minority factions.

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