Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Shollei did not mince her words as she delivered a scathing attack on the quality of The Standard’s reporting.
The Woman Rep referred specifically to the Ksh39 billion arms deal scandal involving former CS Rashid Echesa that has also roped in the name of Deputy President William Ruto.
Speaking on AMLive on NTV on February 17, 2020, the Woman Rep specifically addressed the front-page headline by The Standard with the jarring title, “Conned in 23 Minutes, Ksh 39B fake arms scam.”
The paper was referring to the concession that the DP had made that Echesa had conducted a meeting in his office for 23 minutes.
Visibly incensed, the Shollei started stated that if anyone was to resign it should be the editors of The Standard – this with a backdrop of calls for the DP’s resignation by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.
She argued that had the publication conducted sufficient research, it would have realised that the procurement process was a lengthy affair that could not be concluded in 23 minutes.
“It is not that easy to steal money from the government or sign a contract. The contract needed to be in the budgetary estimates that came before Parliament during the budgetary hearings.
“Then a procurement process is undertaken following which an invoice is given to the relevant authorities after which the money is released by the CBK,” she stated.
Shollei, after highlighting the process, concluded that it was not as easy to steal from Kenyans as she intepreted was implied by the story.
“I repeat, it is not that easy; you cannot con Kenyans in 23 minutes, no matter how high corruption is.
“Again I repeat, the editors who wrote this story should resign,” she asserted.
She further voiced her frustrations with the framing of media stories about Deputy President William Ruto, describing the latest coverage of the DP as a mob lynching.
“Have we become a lynch mob country? A country that has no laws, a country where you can wake up in the morning and accuse someone of the most preposterous crimes and get away with it,” Shollei added.
She argued that the media in Kenya have derailed from their role – that as the fourth estate its role was not to crucify in the dearth of evidence but act as a system of checks and balances for public officials and the citizens.
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