There's More To Protecting Elephants Than PR

Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 06:30, by Patrick Gathara
It is a ritual we have been treated to by every administration since the Nyayo days. The government rolls out part of its stockpile of ivory and the President lights a bonfire for the cameras. The flames are meant to illuminate the state’s commitment to the preservation of our wildlife, to ending the international trade in ivory and other wildlife products and to the fight against poaching.

Uhuru Kenyatta got in on the act on Tuesday when he lit up 15 tonnes of ivory tusks in the Nairobi National Park. It is the largest haul to receive the presidential baptism of fire. By comparison,… ( Read on! )

Our Silent Heroes

Saturday, March 07, 2015 - 14:15, by Patrick Gathara

The months of February and March mark the anniversaries of several significant massacres and assassinations that have haunted post-independence Kenya. This year the period marks 25 years since the murder of Dr. Robert Ouko, 31 years since the Wagalla massacre, 40 years since the killing of JM Kariuki and half a century since post-independent Kenya’s first political assassination –that of Pio Gama Pinto. Going a little further back, it also marks 58 years since the hanging of the Field Marshal of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army, Dedan Kimathi.

It is perhaps not surprising that, at… ( Read on! )

Why The Media Is Losing The Digital Migration Debate

Saturday, February 21, 2015 - 05:18, by Patrick Gathara
For nearly a week now, three of Kenya’s major privately-owned TV stations have been off air due to a row with the industry regulator over migration to a digital platform. The stations, NTV, Citizen TV and KTN, which together account for the vast majority of TV viewership in the country (they claim up to 90 percent), have had a long running and convoluted battle with the Communications Authority essentially demanding a license to broadcast their own content as opposed to handing it over to the two carriers the government has licensed.

It is said that truth is often the first casualty of… ( Read on! )

Saving Kenya From Its Elites Will Take More Than A New Constitution

Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 16:29, by Patrick Gathara
In an article last month, economist Dr David Ndii expounded on the changes that the country’s 2010 constitution has rung in as well as the reduced opportunities for extraction of rents. He opined that the imperial presidency, traditionally the bane of Kenya’s democracy, had been effectively dismantled and that devolution had dramatically reduced the payoffs for corruption if not exactly ensured accountability. “There just aren’t that many large carcasses for all the big ravenous hyenas in Nairobi. The cheese has moved. The rats have not. They slept through the revolution,” he… ( Read on! )

Being African Is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 08:37, by Patrick Gathara
When the prolific columnist, Charles Onyango-Obbo, wrotethat the International Criminal Court “had finally made Kenya an African country” he meant that the government’s reaction to the trials had aligned the country more closely with policies in much of the rest of the continent. I think there is another, perhaps more profound, sense in which Kenyans have become Africans.

To begin with, I have always been uncomfortable with the notion of “Africa”. It has not been apparent to me what, apart from an overabundance of pigmentation, I am supposed to possess in common with most of the… ( Read on! )

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Patrick Gathara

Patrick Gathara

He likes to blog about Kenyan and international politics.

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