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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KPC-Triton Scam: Daily Nation makes a faux pas... again

Daily Nation (& other Kenyans newspapers) not only have atrociously written articles, they make absurd claims based on poor (or no) research...

On 28 Dec 2008, DN claimed their investigations revealed the fuel shortages were created by Oil Marketers. The article - the lead story - exonerated KPC & seemed to imply KPC was an angel...

And now we know better... and not coz of DN but the ad in the paper when KCB published a court order barring Triton...

Subsequently, DN & BDA tried to salvage their reputation with nary an apology to the Oil Marketers or Kenyan public for the misinformation.

I betcha that the 'truth' had to be spoon-fed to the DN... before they could make any sense of it...

So I am taking a poll... are the financial/business writers/editors, etc on DN:

(a) Idiots
(c) Corrupt (incentivized to write anti-OM stories)
(d) All of the above


Anonymous said...

In 2001/2002, Okungu sued NBK, CBK and Cheserem after he was fired by NBK for alleged banking malpractices. His last posting at NBK was in Eldoret as Branch Manager where he had been transferred from the Head office where he was deputy GM. Affidavits were filed in court (and these for your information are public records) and there was a lot of murk associated with this guy. So it's not surprising now that he's now involved in this again. Kwani, those who recommend these people for appointments don't do background checks hard enough? Or are these checks done with a view to be ignored?

coldtusker said...

Anon 2.40: How can I get the affidavits?

Of course, political appointments are made for political & monetary gain... thus my insistence on a real privatization!

MainaT said...

CT :-)
I think its neither of the above and all of the above. You need to understand the context that most of our journals work under;

-work in a very un-transparent environment. Most of us who have dealt even with private sector (never mind the lower standard public sector) can testify to frustrations in getting any info

-lack business knowledge. Its not enough to be a trained journalist. Without the requisite business knowledge (by training or working experience), a journalist will struggle to get a business story right

-news coverage is a 24hr business. This particular story been a developing story and it rare for news media to get such stories right. As an example, there was a lot of misinformation about the credit crunch in its initial months.

-low paid. Means they can get easily bought by the highest bidder

-business as victim-type of story never sells newspapers. Anywhere…

And yes there are some journalists who are lazy (they could have double checked the story with the OMs), corrupt and incompetent. They are Kenyans after all…
Finally, please consider the readership. How many Kenyans can pick up an annual report (audited, well laid out et al) and make sense of it?
PS-pole for the long reply

Anonymous said...

On your poll, I should say all of the above. And probably worse. Many a times, these fellows are truly out of their depth when writing on some issues. Where a little intellectual curiosity would really help them (on the matter of Oil scams especially), they seem to be intimidated out of their wits by the presence of the likes of Okungu, Wachira and Segman.

Pocahontas said...

The media, my opinion still stands on the incompetence of these folks, out to make a quick buck without doing their homework. I see no difference in the media that whipped up emotions and created panic with the company that hoarded oil at KPC's facilities at the expense of other companies and fuel users. What's more, the oil companies seem to be coming out laughing at the end of this incident. The media is more of a devil now. All in all, I still believe KPC should not be privatized lest it's run like Triton. In any case, it should be turned into a PLC. Privatization seems to just be another thorn to only give politicians more reason to seek public offices and teachers placing more demands for raises since the perception is that the government has some extra bags in the treasury.

Anonymous said...

You wold have to dig quite bit to get the affidavits; First is to get the case No. which I cannot recall, but I think the title was George Okungu vs. NBK, CBK and Cheserem. You would have to talk to the lawyers and the hight court. See if you can get the High Court in Nairobi cause lists for 2001 and 2002 and leaf through them and get the case number first. Then work from there

coldtusker said...

Anon 12.56: Ouch. Thanks.

I am a poor blogger. I don't even make money from this site. I thought these would be in Kenya Law Review & I could ask a buddy to help.

I would love to get my hands on the affidavits but...

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Well put MainaT

coldtusker said...

MainaT: Lots of back-handed excuses for the newsmen?

I like the "Kenyans after all" bit..

You notice I have not spared the Kenyan public either most of whom are either still believe gov't is baba na mama.

The USA is facing the same crisis. People do not want to take responsibility for their profligacy.
- McMansions
- SUVs

Now they want bailouts.

Kenyans & maize is similar. I know there is famine but if the farmers are ENCOURAGED to grow maize they will do so...

Why don't we encourage other crops by NOT subsidising maize?

I blogged on African crops that are being 'lost' coz we want maize, warus (potatoes) & wheat... none of which are INDIGENOUS... and these are often drought resistant!

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