Stop this revisionism

On Monday, the Nation published a story about a woman who had two days earlier gone on record expressing her disappointment and bitterness over what she termed being used to market a political party and being dumped once the party rose to power.

Two days after the Nation story was published, another video that has since been linked to senior operatives of the party in question appeared online, depicting the same woman as recanting the Nation story. Mercifully, the Nation had video evidence of the interview with the woman who had last year become the poster image of ‘mama mboga’, a metaphor for the downtrodden in society who the party had in its poll campaigns promised to lift from poverty.

While nobody should begrudge the party the right to project a positive image of itself, the move to prevail on a news source to retract her story is not only an indictment of a political system gasping for values, it lays bare a contemptuous attitude to media freedom and the sanctity of truth, the single most important tenets of democracy that every institution worth its salt must strive to observe. 

The media sometimes get things wrong. But such has been our fidelity to factual reporting that we clarify and correct whatever turns out to have been wrongly presented. Besides, as a country of laws, Kenya has structured mechanisms, which are duly entrenched in the Constitution, through which those aggrieved by media stories can seek redress.

However, going to desperate lengths to scrape the bottom of the blogosphere for unethical ways to discredit the media for factual reporting is a path that horrendously deviates from the values we espouse as a society. These revisionist tactics serve no useful purpose and must be done away with.