We shall work with the people’s representatives, the administration of the day, in highlighting their work to the people and document their successes. We will employ the same vigour to expose cases of excesses, corruption and highhandedness within the corridors of power
Today is World Press Freedom Day, a day recognised by the United Nations (UN) to serve as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Here at Kajiado Star, we are committed to press freedom. We exist to serve the people of Kajiado without discrimination, fear or favour. We are here for the public good.
We seek to serve the people through equipping them with truthful and factual information. When a people are better informed, they are better able to make informed decisions. Our readers and viewers will readily testify that ever since we came into the scene, we have tried our level best, with the limited resources available, to keep them informed on what is going on in the society.
We have become a source of reliable information for the people of Kajiado and we are immensely proud of our work. When the people are happy, we shall be there to document that which is making them happy. When they are celebrating, we shall capture the celebrations for you.
Similarly, when the people are unhappy, hungry, tormented and have their rights trampled down upon, we shall do our level best to expose whatever is causing their unhappiness. We shall never hesitate to expose individuals who cause pain to the people.
Corridors of power
We shall work with the people’s representatives, the administration of the day, in highlighting their work to the people and document their successes. We will employ the same vigour to expose cases of excesses, corruption and highhandedness within the corridors of power.
Right now, the whole country is in the middle of a campaign season, where politicians are combing every nook and cranny, trying to cajole voters to put their trust on them and thus elect them to the various political offices available.
More than any other time, voters require all the information they can get; factual information that will enable them make the right decisions when election day comes. We have tried our best to interrogate these politicians and get them to lay out their policies, manifestoes and development plans.
This is the only time voters can make leaders tell them what they will do once they are elected, otherwise they will find themselves saddled with non-performing or even worse, corrupt leaders for five long years.
During this campaign season, politicians would like to misrepresent themselves for what they are not and make promises they never intend to keep, just to endear themselves to the electorate. We make a solemn promise to the people of Kajiado that we shall keep all politicians honest.
Perhaps most important, is the issue of incitement by politicians, whereby political leaders utter inciting statements or engage in acts that are aimed at causing divisions amongst people of different faiths or ethnicities.
Kajiado County has for the longest time been spared the horrors of ethnic incitement, which inevitably leads to violence and displacement of persons. In fact, many victims of ethnic skirmishes, including the 2007/8 Post-Election Violence, found refuge in Kajiado, because political leaders here chose to embrace peace.
Our solemn pledge to the people living in Kajiado is that political and ethnic incitement shall not take place in this county, under our watch. We shall not participate in covering up for politicians who engage in these acts.
Impunity and incitement, in any form must be fought and fought hard. And in doing this we have no apologies whatsoever. We shall not succumb to any form of pressure or intimidation from any quarters, when we know that we are within our rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
In the recent past, we have witnessed political players send their overenthusiastic supporters to attack and deride us, when they feel that we may have cast their masters in unfavourable light. These are intimidation tactics meant to silence us. Our message to them is simple; we shall not be intimidated, neither shall we be silenced.
If politicians are conducting their business in an open manner, they have nothing to fear from the media; in fact, we will help them disseminate their information to the public. We urge leaders and those in positions of authority to respect and promote press freedom.
On our part, we promise to carry out our duties diligently, fairly and without discrimination.
We shall also be bold and fearless.