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Larry Madowo goes after Matiang’i in scathing attack

Larry Madowo goes after Matiang’i in scathing attack

Larry Madowo goes after Matiang’i in scathing attack
January 11
12:25 2018

Celebrated journalist Larry Madowo has launched a scathing attack against  Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and said that the Minister vowed to never appear in any interview at NTV.

In his weekly newspaper column published by the Nation, Madowo went ham on Matiang’i – attacking the CS’s ‘populist style.’

The outspoken journalist accused the Interior CS of copying Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua in dominating the media with stories of “one achievement after another”.

Dr Fred Matiang’i (centre) with ICT CS Joe Mucheru (right) (Twitter)

 

Madowo further stated that the public’s admiration of Matiang’I had made it impossible to scrutinise his actions, alleging that the CS only accepted interviews with “friendly journalists”.

This is a man who presided over a brutal crackdown of constitutionally protected rights to protest during last year’s two elections, yet any criticism of that shameful period is dismissed as partisan politics”.

Dr Matiang’i has told me in person and at least another of my colleagues that he would never be interviewed by a reporter from NTV because he believes we are biased against him,” the TV anchor-cum-reporter stated.

 

Apart from the problem of police brutality, Madowo went ahead to accuse Matiang’i of concentrating on visible reforms while ignoring systemic issues.

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He further accused Kenyans of praising Matiangi’s “minimal efforts” because the country had become accustomed to low standards.

 

 

“The godlike status Matiang’i has acquired in Kenya means that there is almost no serious scrutiny of his actions by the masses. This is a man who presided over a brutal crackdown of constitutionally protected rights to protest during last year’s two elections, yet any criticism of that shameful period is dismissed as partisan politics.This is the same man who won’t submit himself to a critical interview, preferring instead to speak to friendly journalists who will not see beyond the halo over his head. Dr Matiang’i has told me in person and at least another of my colleagues that he would never be interviewed by a reporter from NTV because he believes we are biased against him.His mind was tightly shut when we reported on claims that he refused to queue at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and had an employee fired for doing her job. He denies that any of this happened, of course, but refuses to give his side of the story on our station.Dr Matiangi’s leadership style is problematic, partly because of its popular appeal. The godlike status that he has acquired in Kenya allows him to walk around with the arrogance of a colonial chief, answerable to no-one except President Uhuru Kenyatta. He likes to focus on quick wins, like exam results or management by wandering around, but ignores the systemic issues in whichever department he’s working. How have learning outcomes improved since he came into the education sector? Are teachers better motivated or has absenteeism reduced or are there higher standards in general? What Dr Matiang’i has done is to airbrush the exterior of the building even as it falls apart inside with clogged toilets, broken furniture, poorly lit corridors and filthy floors,” writes Madowo.

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“If Dr Matiang’i were to carry his abrasive style and little regard for criticism to his new post at the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of Government, we will be applying his defective management philosophy at a scarily grand scale. In a government and society overrun with mediocrity everywhere you look, even minimal effort is glorified to the point of ridiculousness.Kenyans celebrate when results are quickly rushed out, without worrying about the abnormally high failure rate. Some people applaud when security agencies use excessive force even on unarmed protesters, not realising that it normalises police brutality that will stay long after the current officers are gone. They cheer when another public official is fired in front of the cameras without considering the larger challenges that are not fixed by a symbolic dismissal.There is little empirical evidence so far that all of Dr Matiang’i’s reforms are anything more than window-dressing. His seemingly superior performance might be blamed on a country so accustomed to low standards that even minimal effort is seen as monumental success. If anybody should be congratulated for doing an excellent job, it must be his public relations team that is always on hand to magnify every minor development, and a gullible media machine.There are deep systemic issues in both the security and education sectors that Dr Matiang’i has not even remotely addressed. He has his undeniable successes in a limited sense but I wouldn’t canonise him just yet. Considering the top billing he gets, his actual tangible results are still rather slim and he is hopelessly overrated,” adds Madowo in his column.

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