While it has always been expected that journalists are to be nonpartisan, and should show no bias in their reporting, or even conduct, this trend has been seeing a steady change for some time now.
Ever since media gurus the likes of Julie Gichuru and Caroline Mutoko quit their jobs and began their own enterprises which have since taken on political roles, media personalities seem to be more brazen in announcing their political preferences.
Linda Ogutu, one of the country’s top journalists, and who is with KTN gave the strongest hint possible of which side of the political divide she falls on, after a very suggestive retweet of an update that questioned the government’s sincerity in the entire issue.
The tweet that Linda retweeted was by Oliver Mathenge and read,
The Government of Kenya keeps insisting that the BBI was not initiated by the State but sends the Solicitor General -a state office- to appeal the High Court decision.
Although the KTN journalist left it at that, and didn’t add anything to her post, the retweet was enough indication of her stand.
Earlier this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga launched a legal battle to salvage the BBI process, citing 36 grounds for the Court of Appeal to declare it constitutional.
The duo gave a blow-by-blow account of why the judges should overturn a High Court ruling that declared the BBI unconstitutional, null and void.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had also lodged a separate appeal.
The agency wants the Appeal Court to annul the High Court declaration that the three-member commission does not have a quorum.
Uhuru had argued that the High Court decision that quashed the BBI process risks slowing development and quest for inclusive politics. He urged the Judiciary to reconsider its stance on the BBI.
The President has outlined 17 grounds to have the ruling reversed. On some of the grounds, he argues that the judges made a mistake in making declarations with far-reaching consequences about him despite the fact that he was not a party to the proceedings.
The High Court faulted him for his involvement in the BBI Bill.
Uhuru is also battling a ruling that declared him guilty of violating Chapter 6 of the Constitution on integrity by initiating and promoting a constitutional amendment process under Article 257 which is outside his purview.
The President decided to hire a private lawyer, Waweru Gatonye, to fight sections of the High Court judgment that adversely affected him as a person.
Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki has raised 31 grounds of appeal.
Through lawyers George Oraro and the Solicitor General, he argues that the judges erred in law by finding the administrative procedures developed by the IEBC were formulated without public participation.
This finding, they say, is contrary to the evidence on record and the applicable law regarding administrative procedures as being distinct from statutory instruments.
The AG also argued the judges failed to appreciate and consider the BBI bill arose out of a proposal by the people through a consultative process.