Global Voices offered six bloggers based in Kenya the opportunity to attend the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2012 for free.
To compete for one of the six spots, Kenyan bloggers had to write a blog post of 500 words or less on the topic “How citizen media can help ensure peaceful elections in Kenya in 2012-13.”
1. Evalyn Githina
“If we are armed with accurate information, tools and resources to amplify our outreach we can do a great deal to make sure that all citizens are well informed on the process and the issues. Knowledge is power and we need to make sure that all who want to participate do so. The more empowered the citizens are, the less likely they will be to fall for those who want to mislead them into using violence to get their voices heard.”
Read Evalyn's complete post here.
2. Kenneth Mwangi
“The mainstream media failed Kenyans during the last elections because they failed to dissolve the tension that was amongst the general population and avert the aftermath. All they did was give a handful of politicians all the airtime who in turn misused it to propagate hate and violence. Citizen media can do the exact opposite. Citizen media can tell the story from the regular people's perspective because that in my opinion is the most important side when feeling for the pulse of a nation.”
Read Kenneth's complete post here.
3. Baron Shitemi
“The beauty with blogging is that with internet enabled mobile phones, people will read from anywhere. They will discuss it wherever. Those in social media will share to their friends and followers. The networking it creates is formidable. It has an incomparable opportunity to create and sustain change.”
Read Baron's complete post here.
4. Moses Wasamu
“Citizen media can play an effective role in ensuring we have peaceful elections because of the fact that they understand better the terrain where they live, unlike the mainstream journalist who is being send to a far away station for the first time to cover the elections. They are also well known to people in their locality.”
Read Moses'complete post here.
5. Steve Banner
“In informal settlements and slums such as Kibera, where the post Election Violence was at it’s peak, the rise of Citizen journalism has helped in information gathering and sharing. Hence becoming a vital tool to spread the message of peace among the youths, who are mostly the target by politicians in carrying out negative vices and violence in the community.”
Read Steve's complete post here.
6. Ephraim Kenyanito
“While many Kenyans are unsure of whether there will be peace during Kenya’s elections of 2012-13, it seems that the online community is trying to encourage the citizen media to play a proactive role in encouraging peaceful elections and not just reporting on the outcome of the elections.”
Download Ephraim's complete post here.
The competition was judged by GV Sub Saharan Africa Editor Ndesanjo Macha, Kenyan Blogs Webring Founder Daudi Were, and GV Managing Editor Solana Larsen. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who participated.
I’ve read the winning posts and I must state that they are quite enlightening. Kudos to the selection panel.
Having said that however,I couldn’t fail to notice that most of them had no idea what really caused the PEV. Without proper diagnosis we’ll all end up with a flawed prescription..
The real cause of post election violence in Kenya was due to the unholy alliance between the presidency and tribe. It’s widely believed that once a tribe has the presidency, the gravy train that is the government resources head the tribes way.
It’s hard to fault this faulty reasoning given that the previous three governments have had skewed employment and resources allocation methodologies which were seen to benefit members of certain communities.
This whole powder keg was complicated by Kenya’s democracy’s one main weakness : numerical differences of the various tribes that form the political entity kenya. The so called “mt Kenya Mafia” ie the Kikuyu and the tribes around mt Kenya who vote more or less as a block have the potential of monopolizing the presidency to the end of the world, due to their large numbers. This creates resentment in the members of other tribes. In fact, in 2007, most MT Kenyan Mafia voted for kibaki to a man or woman. While members of the other tribes voted for Raila, except kambas who voted for their man kalonzo.
The solution to all this would have been to get rid of the presidency all together and have a parliamentary system which I tried to push for in the run-up to the constitutional review.
The COE, however, gave us a second- best solution which is still workable: They distributed the immense powers of the presidency to the other three arms of government. The CoE made just one mistake of making the hurdles to attaining the presidency quite steep which gives the impression that the presidency will be a very powerful one.
The main work of the citizen media should be to inform the public of the fact that the presidency is no longer the same as in the old constitution. And that the president will not benefit a tribe so it’ll be nonsensical to believe that one will only benefit if the president comes from his her tribe.
Nota Bene: Politics trumps other social issues, I know of many couples who had very stable inter-tribal marriages which collapsed in the wake of 07/08 PEV crises.
I hope to attend this summit next time. It collided with my academic calendar thus I never even showed any interest but next year, watch out for me.
good and keep up