Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently on his first, official visit abroad on an invitation by British PM, David Cameron, but it’s awful that the mainstream media in the UK can’t see anything good about him or the visit but the ICC indictment.
Media experts know that good news in the UK is no news, but cheap public relations. But to continuously brand a president that has been fairly and democratically voted by his people an “ICC indictee” is not only showing lapses of unprofessionalism but being insolent on the part of the British Media, especially the BBC. The coded label has not just, contorted the significance of the visit but has demeaned David Cameron who invited him in the first place. There is no qualm or bone to pick to passively bring up the ICC case, but why not bring in the point that President Uhuru has been cooperating since the case started and has promised to continue the cooperation even though he still has his presidential duty to perform.
Who needs who here? Is it Kenya needing Britain or Britain needing Kenya? In today’s modern world, it is not a matter of choice on whom you can choose or who should be your friend or partner. As the world has been reduced to a small global village by trade and advanced technologies, everyone is now related by virtues and not choice. With the reputation Britain has the world over, its media that enjoy the best freedom of expression, even with the unethical phone hacking saga of late, were supposed to remain courteous and not cynical, especially when dealing with issues of external affairs.
Imagine a Kenyan eager to read news about his president from Nairobi and sees this biased or amateurish report about President Uhuru, and starts an uprising or protest outside the British High Commission, can anyone blame the Kenyan. Sometimes, it’s the trivial things that we disregard that end up costing us much and even lives. It’s not the number of adjectives that a reporter or media use that it going to make it the best, but the simple commonsense of judgment about how any ordinary reader or viewer is going to react, before clicking that mouse or button to publish or air it.
Freedom of press doesn’t means you can just say anything anywhere and go unpunished, but freedom of press to any professional journalist means you are responsible for anything you say or write. Being responsible or accountable means you need to think about the deontology of the profession, think about the house policies of the medium or organ you are working for and you must always do your assignment to ensure you are not inciting or egging on people to commit atrocities or step on others’ toes. Profession journalism should not be about selling the greatest number of copies or publication each day or having the best and well paid adverts because of the number of audiences, but should be the journalism that strive for justice, promote democracy and human rights and always put the people first before the news.
Kenya – British ties
Kenya and Britain have an exceptional diplomatic relationship. First Kenya is one of British colonies in Africa and equally one of its finest hubs in East Africa. Secondly both countries benefit from trade, with the UK being the main destination of gross exports from Kenya. Kenya is the world’s fourth producer of tea. It also grows coffee, maize, sugarcane and wheat. Kenya also exports fruit, vegetable and agricultural products, which are all highly consumed in the UK. With a thriving tourism industry as Kenya is largely covered with national reserved parks in addition to sandy beaches in Mombasa, it is one of the destinations for British tourists. The UK equally exports lots of goods to Kenya in addition to other business deal between the two countries.
President Uhuru three-day state visit would offer him the prospect to revise most of these trade deals as well as meet new business partners. It is the duty of the British press to project the positive sides of this visit and not to waste time telling people about the ICC case, which many people already know and are tired of it. Uhuru narrowly won the March presidential election, and his main rival Raila Odinga contested the results before the Supreme Court ruled to give him the victory. Kenyans celebrated and have remained peaceful all through. Odinga who is supposed to be the last person to accept the results has finally agreed that Uhuru is the president. Whether, the British press want to see him as that honourable president he is or an ICC wanted man in their making, Kenyans and Africans are proud of him.