Kenya's media have been blamed for poor coverage of the recent expose on President Uhuru Kenyatta's family by the Pandora Papers.
The recent expose on the Uhuru Kenyatta family's large amount of cash stashed in overseas accounts has raised more concerns in Kenya, especially on the role of local media practitioners.
Several foreign media exposed how Kenyan local media had gone mute on covering the Pandora Paper leaks. They claimed there was inadequate coverage after the leak went viral, targeting some current and former leaders.
Kennedy Wandera who is the head of the Foreign African Press linked this to the media ownership in Kenya.
"A number of media organizations in Kenya are owned by politicians. So politicians actually gatekeep or allow what gets out of that gate. So, in one way or the other, perhaps that might have happened because a number of media organizations in Kenya are owned by political figures. So yes, it might be true. There could be some kind of gatekeeping," Kennedy Wandera, Chairman of the Foreign African Press revealed.
Wandera further said that the constitution of Kenya does not bar anyone from having an external source of revenues but this must be declared to the taxman.
"We have spoken to a number of constitutional experts who say it is not illegal to own an offshore company, but any state officer has to declare the same to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Kenya every year. It is still not in the public domain whether President Kenyatta has been declaring this to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission," Wandera further revealed.
Kenya’s corruption index has been worsening over the years compared to other countries. The East African country has put some effort in the fight against corruption but still, more is needed to help stop this.
The fight against corruption has mainly been hampered by ethnicity in Kenya
Wandera outlined that, "the major stumbling block against corruption in Kenya is tribalism because once a top government official has been arraigned in court, then the politicians mobilize the committee to say that their communities are being targeted in this fight."
President Uhuru Kenyatta said he will issue a comprehensive response to the allegations in a few days.
In his response through State House spokesperson Kanze Dena, Kenyatta said the documents would help in enhancing financial transparency.