Of Ambassador Njeru Githae, travel advisories and the information rat-race

NAIROBI: Ratman Njeru Githae, the politician-turned-diplomat who advocated rat eating to enhance food security, is back in town from his base in Washington.

I don't know if he has an accent now, but Githae has interesting perspectives – developed from his lofty abode in majuu – on what's causing a slump in local tourism.

Githae says it is being hampered by constant travel advisories. Githae thinks local Press is to blame for reporting about runaway insecurity in the country.

I totally agree scribes should be driven by patriotism in their reporting and leave out embarrassing details that can damage our reputation internationally.

For instance, with a police force that is completely inept and riddled with corruption, painting the force in such terms cannot inspire confidence. Instead, we should highlight only the positives. Last year, I was mortified to read that an entire contingent of regular police and army men were kept at bay by only three or four scrawny Shabaab militants.

Even more embarrassing were the reports that the soldiers who went to rescue civilians trapped at Westgate started by raiding safes and breaking cash dispensers. Publishing such accounts was unpatriotic, to say the least.

From his Washington base, I am certain Githae is now familiar with intelligence gathering processes. He must know a huge chunk of that comes from newspapers gossips and bar talk, so things that were published, even in jest, might be amplified and blown out of proportion.

A good example is the dietary rat supplement that Githae made many moons ago, but which has become the signpost of his public life. He may serve in important ministries and departments but what captured the public imagination is the rat-talk.