Local news outlet, The Star, was on Sunday forced to pull down a story criticizing President Uhuru Kenyatta, following an uproar from a section of members of the public.
The Radio Africa Group-owned publication pulled down the opinion article that called for President Kenyatta’s resignation from its website just hours after publishing.
In the article titled ‘Uhuru should resign or be forced out through civil disobedience’, Henry Makori, the author, poked holes into Uhuru’s administration, saying the Head of State had turned into a dictator.
According to the author, President Kenyatta had become so unpopular that he was relying on the military and the Luo nation to cling to power.
“President has turned into a dictator and is relying on the military and Luos nation support to stay in power,” read the article.
The story elicited an angry reaction from a section of Kenyans including leaders who accused the publication of ethnic profiling.
“I am shocked that the editorial team at The Star newspaper would allow such an inflammatory article to be published, ” said Embakasi East Member of Parliament Paul Ongili also known as Babu Owino.
“The wording of this article is designated to fan flames of ethnic animosity against the Luo community in Kenya by running a negative narrative against us.”
Nation columnist Gabriel Oguda said, “Ati Luos are the ones preventing you from removing the same President you gave a Birthday Cake that looked like a voter’s card? The same Luos you said had no stake in your God-chosen economy? You guys will kill me with laughter one day.”
Ati Luos are the ones preventing you from removing the same President you gave a Birthday Cake that looked like a voter's card? The same Luos you said had no stake in your God-chosen economy? You guys will kill me with laughter one day.
— Gabriel Oguda (@gabrieloguda) June 13, 2021
“The Star Kenya please write researched and properly backed articles. This an embarrassment, too low for you,” added Thomas Kogolla.
“The star newspaper states that president Uhuru is relying on the military and luos to slowly become a dictator. This not journalism. Very unethical,” said Munene Kariuki.
The star newspaper states that president Uhuru is relying on the military and luos to slowly become a dictator. This not journalism. Very unethical.
— Mùnene wa Kariùki (@Munene__kariuki) June 13, 2021
President Kenyatta’s political truce with opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is from the Luo community, the writer alluded, had contributed to the status quo.
The President has been engaging members from the Kenya Defence Forces in civilian projects amid concerns from a section of members of the public.
Some of the projects taken over by KDF include the refurbishment of the Kenya Meat Commission, Lake Victoria Port as well as Nakuru Railway line in conjunction with Kenya Railways among others.
On his part, the President has continued to tell off his critics saying the military has demonstrated good work ethic in their service to the nation, especially in the revival of key infrastructural and economic projects.
He said in May that the military’s efficiency has saved the country large sums of money further challenging civilian institutions to emulate KDF.