Nation Media Group has terminated the weekly column by David Ndii, the controversial economist who advocates splitting of Kenya into two countries. Mr Ndii, who is also NASA’s political and economic strategist, has been writing the column every Saturday for the last four or so years.
It is understood that the decision was communicated by Nation Editor-in-chief Tom Mshindi to the Saturday Nation editors, who were instructed to ask Ndii to stop writing his column from next week. Effectively, this week’s column will be his last in the Saturday Nation, according to insiders at Nation Centre. In the piece, Why IMF, CBK haven’t been telling Kenyans the truth about our debt, he takes on the two institutions for cooking numbers about Kenya’s economy, especially those relating to revenues, expenditure and debt.
“There is also a tautological problem,” he writes. “Our foreign currency reserves are healthy because they include the Eurobond and syndicated loan dollars. Without these, they would be precarious. Our export earnings have stagnated. The bankers are mixing up their stocks and flows. It is like taking an overdraft, putting it in a fixed deposit, and then your banker assures your creditors that they don’t have to worry about your cash flow since you have a strong liquidity position.”
An unapologetic government critic, Ndii’s exit comes a few weeks after Nation advertised positions for columnists and contributors to its various platforms and when there is the possibility of President Uhuru buying the Nation Media Group. He is also among NASA supporters whose passports have been suspended by the Government of Kenya.
It will be a major blow for the Saturday Nation since he has been one of the most read columnists not just on Saturday but in the entire Nation newspapers stable. His critical, and often controversial, take on economic and political issues won his massive following among Kenyan readers, admirers and haters alike. The Nation is likely to lose a good chunk of this market. And if Ndii is snapped up by its rival Standard, he could as well migrate with some of the readers.
SEE ALSO: Larry Madowo also kicked out of Daily Nation
READ: Government suspends David Ndii’s passport
Ndii was brought on board by Dennis Galava, who took over as managing editor of the Saturday Nation in 2012. Galava was sacked early 2016 over a critical editorial he published on the poor performance of President Uhuru’s government.
Some of Ndii’s columns have raised storms and formed public discourse. The most controversial one and which threw him in the public limelight was the piece titled Kenya is a cruel marriage, it’s time we talk divorce, published on 26th March 2016, in which he argued that communities that feel under-represented in government should secede.
“After 70 years of a failed nationalist project, former Yugoslavia’s decade-long genocidal wars claimed over 140,000 lives and displaced over 4 million people. To what end?” he wrote in the column. “The country still broke up — balkanised to be specific, into six successful ethnic nations (Serbia may yet yield one or two more). They could have broken up peacefully like the Soviet Union. What are we waiting for, a genocide? Reke tumanwo (We’d better go our separate ways).”
Indeed, he was the boldest Kenyan to put the very sensitive issue of cessation on the table for discussion, for which he was supported and criticized in equal measure. It is still one of the most-talked about issues in Kenya’s politics.
I think it’s important to view issues through the prism of fairness and objectivity in order to offer a balanced article to your readers some of whom are only interested in information. The true test of information is simply its accuracy,timeliness and usefulness.A slant,insinuations and innuendos have their place. They belong with the unsophisticated.
very very bad if Dr ndii leaves, then that is the end of me buying nation newspaper. and what level of intolerance is this. what a government?.nation should rethink about this.
Good news! If david mwangi was at oxford and studied economics , he should have come back to kenya and did what mwai kibaki did when he studied ecomonics in london or what museveni is doing in Uganda, kenya is a developing nation and it doesn’t need criticism from phds but they need to come up with policies. remember the Mp who started the CDF bill, thats probably the best thing Kenya has ever had. we need phenomenal ideas. when Ndii gangs up with malicious failures , organizing nonsensical oaths , he is wasting valuable time and no one notices him . doesnt he have friends or relatives to advice him? ikiara is working on policies for IMF and Ndii is boot licking raila. poor guy. ndii worj with the government , thats where the money is . ask mutahi nguyi , jinga wewe