Wednesday, 18 May 2011


2012 is calling and politicians are getting ready. With no exceptions, any mp with plans of been in parliament post 2012 is clearing the way for himself or herself. As with any country, Kenyans are influenced so much by the media that the media now literally thinks for Kenyans. A case example is Citizen TV which has a religious following upcountry. Anything appearing on the station is law and if you doubt it, just ask anybody and the response will be, it was on TV. Mind you TV is Citizen. A different station with a conflicting side of the story will not be given a chance to complete it without the dial been invoked. By the way, by upcountry, I meant Central Kenya.

With politicians fully understanding the power wielded by the media especially TV and radio, it is no doubt that some of them have positioned themselves strategically to utilize this avenue. The 'positioning' comes in different ways, either by acquiring established stations, creating new ones or even befriending top managers and editors in certain media houses. The 'positioning' has spared no side of the political divide. Here is a list of media stations some of our mps control.

UHURU KENYATTA :- K24, People, Kameme, STV
        Through TV Africa Holdings, the DPM acquired Matiba's People newspaper and Rose Kimotho's media max. Back in 2007, TV Africa had bought STV from veteran Hilary Ng'weno. STV airs foreign news but speculations that it can be rebranded into a local stations are rife. It is not clear the percentage ownership in K24 and Kameme, but it clear the % is enough to give him live coverage, or to even fire Luis Otieno if he fails to tow the line.

MOI'S FAMILY :- Mzee Moi and his son Gideon are the largest shareholder in Standard group,owning KTN, Standard newspaper and lately Radio Maisha. The other shareholders are Joshua Kulei and some very minor shareholders. Whoever gets Gideons favour is expected to leap the benefits but the likelyhood of Raila been the one are very minimal considering his history with the old Moi.

SK. MACHARIA :- Definitely the most recognized media owner in Kenya. He owns The Royal Media family that does not need any introduction. One TV station and over ten radio stations. All this are expected to be for Uhuru to use as the elections approach. This is guided by the open secret of SK's support for the old man Kibaki.

WILLIAM RUTO :- Surprisingly, many Kenyans are unaware that Kass fm is firmly in Ruto's arms. According to sources, Ruto's stake in the stations is said to be in the 40's %. This will definitely come in handy as we progress.

NAJIB BALALA :- Sheki fm


JOHN MUTUTHO :- Unconfirmed reports say that he has a stake in Countryside fm, formerly Bahasha fm .

RAILA ODINGA :- Has not invested much in the airwaves and that may cost him dearly. He however owns a not so popular Radio Umoja and Namlolwe fm.  He is however said to enjoy close contacts at the nation centre and whether that will translate to favourable print and airtime is yet to be seen.

CHARITY NGILU :- Said to own a Kamba station, Mbaitu fm. She is also said to have a stake in Syokimau fm
JAKOYO MIDIWO :- Lake Victoria fm

It is widely believed that several undocumented mps own slices of other small stations or are members of the board. This influx of politicians in the media industry is alarming and may transform the Kenyan media to be for the politicians, of the politicians and by the politicians.


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