Guns for hire ain't loyal, and they shouldn't expect loyalty from their benefactors. When they are no longer of use, it is amazing how swiftly their paymasters turn on them. Often, the about-turn is limited to very cold shoulders in very public spaces. But every now and then, when a message needs to be sent, the change in their fortunes is usually accompanied by court dates before unsmiling magistrates just itching to hurl the book at them.
This is what has characterised Kenya's political elite's relations with the less savory elements of Kenya's supposedly free press. When the going is good, both sides make a killing: the sellsword makes bank; the politico gets a journalistic burnishing to inflate his already massive ego several times over. When it all goes tits up, boy o' buy, do things escalate fast. What casually begins as a war of words ends with handcuffs and scary-sounding charges. Robert Alai is living proof that when you're in, you're a guest; when you're out, you're a pest. He should have known better - when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.