Henix Obuchunju, a journalist from Kibera, Nairobi, was selected as the winner of the first RoGGKenya Award. Mr. Obuchunju who works for Pamoja FM was awarded in absentia at a colorful ceremony that took place on 9th May at a Nairobi Hotel.
His radio piece “Grabbed Footpaths in Kibera” won the judges’ hearts because of its uniqueness, simplicity and inclusivity.
Link to audio file: https://roggkenya.org/cloud/index.php/s/Mai8rC7KgQg4kjT
“As I was browsing through my twitter handle on 13th January 2019, I came across the @RoGGKenya twitter handle with a story idea on grabbed footpaths at Olympic area in Kibera”, said Obuchunju.
“The handle continuously shared posts of how footpaths have been grabbed by city landlords across Nairobi.This prompted immediate action and I had to find out what could be done to salvage the situation.”
A sneak preview of footpaths in Kibera shows many traders have set up businesses on foot paths and road reserves.
For instance, the road leading to Olympic primary school. Pedestrians, among them school going children, have to use the busy road with motorists leading to increased number of accidents.
Sarangombe ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) , Lawrence Odhiambo, admitted that many footpaths around Olympic area have been grabbed and promised to change the situation.
Social media users on Kibera’s popular Facebook page Kibera ni kwetu have in the past raised complains on encroached footpaths but there has been no attempt by relevant authorities to restore order.
The Roggkenya website has been an essential tool in most of my stories this year with the latest being on Ward Development Fund kitty.
“Thank you for this award. I am truly honored to receive it. And, thank you to all Roggkenya experts for providing a resource center for journalists,” said Obuchunju
As the winner of the award, he received a laptop and a certificate of recognition.
Second position: Brian Wasuna, Nation Media Group
Brian Waswa who writes for Nation Media Group, investigation desk documents how Kenyans bear the burden whenever government officials do not follow the law regarding public funds. In his story, “Sh 6bn meat factory scandal returns to haunt Kenyan Taxpayer” he investigates a 45 year old slaughter house case that had been forgotten but later resurfaced.
This article is a product of thorough investigation that is encouraged by RoGGKenya and use of the tools provided on the site. While receiving his award, Mr Wasuna explained how helpful the RoGGKenya site has been to his investigative stories.
“I was inspired by the tools and hints on RoGGKenya site and I am happy to receive this award,” said Wasuna.
Mr. Wasuna received a tablet and a certificate of recognition.
Third Position: Ruth Keah, Radio Rahma
Ruth Keah, a Mombasa based Radio journalist working with Rahma took the third position. Her radio piece “Makala simulizi za kutafuta uhuru mikononi mwa maafisa wa usalama” narrates how petty offenders are arrested by Mombasa County Council officers.
She narrows down to cases of pedestrians who are arrested for not using flyovers and opting to cross the roads at illegal points. Her main concern however, is how the cases are handled. The process is shrouded in corruption by both the council officers and the court officials.
She also brings out the voices of those who have been arrested before and how they escaped jail terms. Ms. Keah was inspired by tools on RoGGKenya site that guided her on how to report court cases and how long someone can be held before being produced in court.
Ms. Keah received a smart phone and a certificate of recognition.
Link to audio file: https://roggkenya.org/cloud/index.php/s/3KE7FFZoctHPikw
It is important to note that the submissions that took position four to eight had very tight gaps in terms of how they scored.
While speaking at the awards ceremony, Jutta von Hofe, DW-Academie Country Coordinator said that they are happy with the DW Academie achievements over the years. “In the last year alone, we held over 50 workshops to strengthen journalists’ capacities and I am excited to host the first awards by RoGGKenya ,” she also applauded the RoGGKenya team for identifying a gap in Kenyan journalism and responding to it.
The articles / stories / broadcast programs were expected to exhibit professionalism and inclination to promote good governance as provided for by the Constitution. They should be fact-oriented, not just general opinion and entail exclusive information that the author has gathered, but not by just interviewing opinion-leaders.
They were also expected to have been published or broadcast in Kenyan media before 31st March, 2019.
The journalists were also expected to explain in detail how in the process of producing their media product the RoGGKenya.org website was useful for them.
More than 20 journalists submitted entries from both print and radio.
What RoGGkenya Is
RoGGKenya.org is a joint project by Article 19 Eastern Africa, Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), Kenya Correspondents’ Association and Transparency International Kenya, supported by DW Akademie.
The website is aimed at encouraging fact-based and impartial reporting on good governance and corruption in Kenya. It points to original sources, provides reporting ideas and gives hints on how to follow-up on specific stories that are in the news.
by Carolyne Oyugi