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Sarah Elderkin, a mistress or mouthpiece?

Posted by African Press International on August 31, 2012

REPUBLISHED DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND: Posted by African Press International for the first time on February 5, 2012

  • Published here by Chief Editor Sammy Korir


Authored By Onyango Oneka, California – USA

Jeff Koinange
< Photo: Jeff Koinange of K24 TV Kenya
Sarah Elderkin, in her article in the STAR- Nairobi, dated 4th February bearing the title “Jeff Koinange On A Mission?” accuses him of being on a negative a mission.
The recent pathetic vitriol by one-time journalist-turned-Raila Sympathizer, Sarah Elderkin on Emmy award-winning journalist, Jeff Koinange, has elicited nothing short of a Tsunami of chatter on social media both for and against. But the one thing that came out of the convoluted three-page mumbo jumbo of false accusations is the fact that either Elderkin has been paid to ‘rubbish’ Koinange or she has some kind of deluded axe-to-grind with one of Africa’s most celebrated journalists and his interview techniques. Without going through and dissection the ‘ridiculous rhetoric’, let’s take a minute to see exactly where this ‘tirade’ could be coming from.

Let’s face it- Koinange has brought a kind of interviewing skills unseen in Kenya period. He asks the kinds of questions we all want answered and he does it with such smoothness and ease that the guests don’t realize what they’re saying until Capital Talk airs to Millions of homes in Kenya, Africa and the world every night. More than fifteen-hundred shows later in four-and-a-half years of sitting daily on a rock-hard park bench, and Sarah Elderkin has decided to ‘grossly attack’ just two shows…two shows that allegedly were too ‘close to home’ for her Client, the country’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga. Clearly Koinange touched a nerve and the response is either guilt or simple ignorance on the part of this dinosaur of a journalist who was once well known as a Personal Assistant and part-time Mistress to the Prime Minister.

Sarah Elderkin cut her teeth during the dark days of One-Man rule under then President Daniel Arap Moi. She worked for the famous ‘Weekly Review’ which was ably run by Nuclear Scientist-turned journalist, Hilary Ng’weno.  Ng’’weno was good at picking holes in a subtle way at Moi’s government and was successful for a while. The magazine was eventually forced to shut down and some like Elderkin jumped ship to support the ‘burgeoning opposition’ then under leading lights like Kenneth Matiba and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. She grew close to Odinga and worked her way to become one of his key speech writers and campaign strategists. This is probably when she met his son, Raila, and the relationship grew both professionally and personally. Her loyalty to the Odinga family is therefore unquestionable. Somewhere along the way, she fell out with the younger Odinga, perhaps more to do with personal than professional etiquette.

So when Capital Talk began exploring various aspects of The ICC and who might be the ‘possib;e hand behind it,’ it was only a matter of time before the ‘Geriatric journalist’ saw her chance to win back favour with the man who may just one day be President. She decided to pick on two out of fifteen-hundred Capital Talk shows where the interviewees boldy and fearlessly questioned what the Prime Minister’s role was in the lead-up to the ICC. She didn’t even mention the fact that Koinange had been ten-times more caustic when it came to President Mwai Kibaki’s role in the Planning and Execution of the Post Election reaction to the near-civil war that was raging across the country in those few weeks following the declaration of the winner of the highly disputed election. In fact, numerous guests on the Bench like Political Scientist, Mutahi Ngunyi and Publisher, Barrack Muluka, as well as others like former Law Society of Kenya Chairman who’s also the Publisher of the Nairobi Law Monthly, Ahmednasir Abdullahi and former Vice Chair of the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights, Hassan Omar Hassan, all of whom categorically stated that the ‘Buck Stops’ with Kibaki and that he was nowhere near being ‘out of the woods’ just yet. Why didn’t Elderkin see the need to ‘castigate’ Koinange when it came to Kibaki’s alleged role and only concentrated on what she saw as ‘perceived attacks’ on her former Boss, the Prime Minister? More importantly, why didn’t the seat of power, Harambee House, the Official Office of The President, issue a statement or for that matter, write an Op Ed defending ‘their man’?

What Elderkin has done in three pages of what can only be described as ‘childish ranting and raving’ is nothing short of ‘juvenile jingoism’. She needs to be reminded that long gone are the days of one-man Dictatorship and if any “Expert’ or ‘Analyst’ wants to talk about this or that, they should be given the platform and NOT be silenced just because someone doesn’t agree with what’s being said. Elderkin is NOT the authority when it comes to ‘Journalistic Ethics and Standards’. If she’s working for Raila she should state it plain and simple, not use a ‘Rag’ of a newspaper to ‘pathetically defend’ her paymaster.

Knowing Koinange, he’s used to controversy and being undermined by ‘weak and gutless’ individuals. He will probably make light of his ‘Human Cartoon’ reference and let everything else ‘roll down his broad shoulders’. Most other journalists in Kenya would have probably quit and gone into other ‘less threatening’ professions. This is not the time to ‘Kill The Messenger’ but instead, promote Free Speech because that’s what the New Constitution says is a basic Human right.

But because Elderkin is White and a Woman, her ‘written word’ is immediately seen as the ‘Gospel Truth’ making ‘gullible and inferior-minded’ Kenyans run to her support like Slaves in a Plantation trying to gain her favour and acceptance. It’s these ‘inferior-minded’ Kenyans that have been jumping on the Elderkin ‘band-wagon’, calling the ‘messenger’ all kinds of name in a veiled effort to ‘Discredit and Undermine’ a show that’s undoubtedly the ‘Most-Watched, Most-Popular, Most-Informative and Most-Educative’ on Kenyan and for that matter on African Television.

Wake up, Kenyans. By Elderkin ‘pulling wool’ over your eyes, you’re blindly walking back to the days you fought so hard to escape from. But if that’s where you ‘belong’, then who are we to stop you from getting what you deserve.


The article above is a reaction to the article below published by The STAR, Nairobi on the 4th of February 2012.

The fight is all about the interview of Miguna Miguna by Jeff Koinange of K24 TV:
Watch the interview Part 1 to 4 below and judge for yourself:
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4



9 Responses to “Sarah Elderkin, a mistress or mouthpiece?”

  1. kui said

    Best response ever to the rubbish Sarah Elderkin wrote about Jeff. I barely paid attention to that nonsense becoz if Jeff has studied journalism plus worked both as a local and international journalist, going to war-torn cities to bring the international community the stories there-in…compare this to Elderkin’s experience, and you can see where the joke lies. Working for Odinga, even if you are white, does not make you a qualified journalist.

    Secondly, I think she had a problem with Jeff’s accent or pronunciation of words. I say to her: if you’ve lived in Africa for so long and haven’t mastered a local language such that you wow the locals, don’t take it out on Jeff. Reminds me of Dr Joseph Mungai (R.I.P) who mentions in his autobiography ‘From Simple to Complex’ (pg 117), that an impending visit to London elicited a call from a colonial education officer in Nairobi, asking Dr Mungai to attend a course on how to use knife and fork and also learn how to bath without splashing water all over the bathroom…the colonial officer was female. Remnants of the colonial education officer’s ‘wisdom’ is found in Sarah Elderkin.

    Lastly, why would she even think Miguna Miguna needs to be cajoled etc.? Miguna is not a boy, or unfamiliar to questions, or the media.If Miguna felt Jeff’s question were leading, etc., Miguna would have done what Miguna does best. Sarah doesn’t need to come clean up after him. If she was the journalist she claims to be, she should have turned her vitriol on Miguna, since they’ve been working in the same team. Not Jeff.

    And that’s why I agree with you that the Nairobi Star is a Nairobi Rug. Didn’t they cover a misinformed story on the former Ambassador of Nigeria to Kenya, defaming the poor man’s reputation? Washindwe kabisa!


  2. […] prostitute in Kenya      Print     Email   SARAH ELDERKIN- MISTRESS OR MOUTHPIECE FOR RAILA ODINGA? African Press International (API) Even when defending someone, there is a way you can do it, dishonestly, hopelessly, recklessly and […]


  3. edkamau said

    PS…Btw, a quick hint – try using fewer ‘inverted commas’, you might find that ‘your pieces’ may be less ‘irritating’ and ‘repetitive’ to the eye and therefore more ‘readable’. Perhaps it was you who were used to ‘write’ the ‘forged’ ICC dossier – the poor grammar and lack of style are ‘similar’!!


  4. edkamau said

    This piece attacking Elderkin is an abomination. Zero objectivity, zero insight, zero analysis; instead it is full of ghastly personal abuse and bilious innuendo. The author is a disgrace to his country of birth – that is, if he truly seeks a better Kenya, which I doubt. Instead he’d rather spout this propagandist tosh masquerading as a journalistic blog. Whilst Elderkin, Odinga etc are not perfect (as are none of us) this diatribe only further demeans the position of his paymasters – who are undoubtedly Uhuruto. Shame on you all, Uhuru, with your ill-gotten half billion and Ruto, with your disgraceful two faces – a warmonger at a prayer meeting – how grotesque. Kenyans are no longer idiots, and the ICC is not a Kibera court.


  5. Anonymus said

    If you can’t see Koinange’s bias in many of the interviews then you are one of those “inferior minded” Kenyans but with internet, you are allowed to express your opinion, however stupid.


  6. I find this article so cheap and shallow. Pity its not found its way to a dustbin.


  7. karbually said

    It is yet again emerging here on where each of the for and against Serah Elderkin story on Jeff Koinage is situated. On the onset of my comments, critism is new in Kenya especially when it touches on issues that are seen to have influence on the next general election. I truely respect Jeff but i have many reservations on his lack of partiality in his forums, i have been keenly following his forums and i have personally come to a conclusion that in as much as he is up agaist Serah Elderkin’s article, he is equally guilty of the same when it comes to issues that impact negatively on his paymaters whom we all know. I wish to challenge Jeff to hold forums with members of the Mombasa Republican Council, Maa Civil Society Forum, the Taitas, the Pokots who have long grievances on how the Kenyatta Government deliberately dispossed them of their rights to land. Grow up Jeff.


  8. It’s been a long time; a very long time, indeed, since yours truly has read a long piece that said nothing in response to a well written, reasoned and supported by facts it is intended to rebut.

    First, let’s give credit where it’s due; the writer of this article readily confesses from the outset his intentions: “Without going through and dissection the ‘ridiculous rhetoric’, let’s take a minute to see exactly where this ‘tirade’ could be coming from.”

    In other words, without rebutting point by point what Sarah Elderkin has brilliantly exposed, the writer is saying he would rather focus on discussing Ms. Elderkin the person; when you have nothing to rebut in another writer’s piece, go personal and personally attack the writer–very common but useless tactic.

    Second, in the small part the writer has attempted to rebut Ms. Elderkin’s piece, he cites a couple of examples where Jeff Koinange has has had guests not saying things fitting his and K24’s narrative Ms. Elderkin alleges and proves with her analysis but this is no rebuttal at all because Ms. Elderkin herself offers an explanation why that is so, not that it changes her analysis one bit even if you were to buy the writer’s version of the explanation.

    Third, the writer says, “What Elderkin has done in three pages of what can only be described as ‘childish ranting and raving’ is nothing short of ‘juvenile jingoism.'” No amount of name calling will ever change the content of a good analysis or any analysis for that matter. It is obvious this writer has nothing to rebut what Ms. Elderkin has exposed and thus his resorting to ad hominem attacks.

    Finally but not least, many of us have been saying whoever the next president in Kenya is, the law shall be changed to ensure our highest office in the land is respected regardless of the holder of that office such that insulting and slanderous references such as the one in the title of this article are no longer tolerated. That shall come to pass.


  9. […] >>> Video 4 >>> >>> >>> >>> >>> >>> On Feb 4, 4:29 pm, Kuria-Mwangi < kjmwa…> wrote: >>> > MO: >>> > As the […]


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