Televison station KTN might be on the verge of loosing the credibility it has so far worked hard to gain. The media house is credited for having some of the best local shows in the country ranging from family programmes to musical shows.
The media house has lately been attacked by different sections of Kenyans for allegedly trying to cover up government atrocities by banning different exposes’ most notably, The Profiteers by John Allan Namu. The media house will also be remembered for having dropped the Chris Msando murder documentary just some few hours to it’s airing.
‘The Profiteers’ is a three-part documentary that was scheduled to a run on KTN. The investigative piece produced and voiced by award-winning journalist John Allan Namu of Africa Uncensored exposed the plunder of South Sudan’s resources by some government officials. The perpetrators, according to the story, are protected by Kenya’s military. The documentary explicitly mentions Kenyan banks that were allegedly used as conduits in the looting and transfer of cash.
In the days leading to the airing of the piece, KTN ran a promotional trailer throughout the week. But the broadcast was dropped before it was scheduled to go on air. The decision raised a lot of questions.
In March, KTN suspended the airing of an investigate report on grand theft at Kenya Power titled #Hadubini by Hussein Mohammed and #InsideSource by Francis Ontomwa. The station simply informed viewers without explanation that the documentary would not be aired.
On ‘Profiteers’, Namu in a post on his Twitter handle stated that the editors at KTN “were largely happy with the story, but wanted to remove certain parts of it as they sought comment from an adversely mentioned person. We disagreed, given that we had already sought fair comment from this person.”
The question that editors at KTN should answer is: who are the people who never wanted the story aired? Why did the editors bow to the pressures, halting the transmission?
It is obvious there was interference. No media house can announce planned publication of a report without being sure of its content. If there were unresolved issues, KTN would certainly have ironed them out before promising its viewers the investigative report.
Second, the explanation that someone who was mentioned adversely in the report had not commented is a lame excuse. The fact that one was given the opportunity to comment on the allegations is enough.
Namu went ahead to upload the three-part documentary on social media platforms of Africa Uncensored. It has received a lot of viewing and sparked important conversations here and abroad.
After the story was uploaded online, South Sudan residents in Kenya together with activists organized a protest against the South Sudan government to demand the freezing of assets of those fleecing the country and sanction banks that have facilitated the alleged looting.