As its name suggests, ”Mapambano online” is an Online news
channel that will seek to address various aspects of the struggle in Kenya from
different perspectives. Kenyans who have come together to set up Mapambano
online believe that the service is necessary especially during this period when
our country is undergoing a critical period of its history under the Coalition
to point out that this is the second time that the idea of a news channel of
this type has become real among Kenyans interested in these kinds of projects.
The initial “Mapambano Newsletter”, a monthly publication, went into print some
time in 2004 but folded after a few issues were produced because of difficult
circumstances. Mapambano online is therefore a resurgence of Mapambano
Newsletter but under different circumstances.
moment, the Grand coalition does not have an opposition and in just a spate of
nine months, there are issues that have been swept under the carpet and without
being given the prominence they deserve in the mainstream Kenyan media which is
more inclined to spreading sensation than real news.
informed Kenyans will admit, there are pieces of news and information that never
make it to the mainstream media because they are deemed “unacceptable” by the
editors of mainstream publications. A case in point has been the systematic
side-lining of activities of the National Youth Movement (Vijana tujipange) and
certain Civil society organizations.
the tasks of Mapambano will be to collect these kinds of news and information
and help in giving them exposure online. In other words, the struggle in Kenya
calls for an alternative online news channel as like-minded and revolutionary
Kenyans re-discover themselves in preparation for the challenges ahead as the
struggle against colonialism and capitalist class rule continues in our country.
we are in a country without an official opposition. Promises that were made by
the Coalition government when it began to govern have not been met. For example,
it is increasingly looking unlikely that a new constitution will be delivered
within the period of one year as had been promised by the Coalition government.
The coalition came into existence on 28th February this year and
chances are that come February 28th next year, Kenyans will still be
governed by the old, colonial style Constitution that Moi used to run down the
country for 24 years.
absence of an opposition, the coalition government has a field day, reneging on
promises without the possibilities of being kept on toes because the leading
political parties – ODM and PNU – are both in government. Under the
circumstances, Mapambano online is likely to play a significant role in raising
the issues especially where the government has failed.
they assumed their seats in Parliament, MPs have, until today, refused to agree
that their lofty salaries be taxed when salaries of ordinary and impoverished
Kenyan workers are subjected to taxation. Although this issue has repeatedly
been raised in the local media, the issue of high salaries of MPs is not
effectively being linked to the looting and plunder of the Kenyan economy under
a system of legalized looting of our country’s wealth. As an alternative voice,
the task of Mapambano online will be to give news and information a different
delay into the implementation of the Waki report is further evidence that the
Coalition government needs credible challenge in the field of politics. After
more than 1,500 Kenyans lost their lives in the post election violence as others
became IDPs, we agree with Kenyans who believe that implementation of the Waki
report will check impunity in Kenya. While it is possible that the report might
be faulty in certain aspects, dumping it in the dust bin and in its entirety is
an irresponsible act. Those who are mentioned in the Report as having abetted
violence are all innocent until proved guilty. Let them face the law so that
they can prove their innocence.
interested in playing a role to help this project continue running are welcome.
There is nobody who owns the struggle in Kenya. The current struggles in our
country for a better Kenya is the struggle of all Kenyans. Like minded Kenyans
on how the struggle should proceed in our country are encouraged to take contact
with Mapambano online because collectively, we can confront the common enemy
whose agents are running down our country as our people are cheated after each
and every election.
Mapambano Editorial Board, October 2008