Drama behind President Kenyatta’s ‘closest political ally’ statement


Drama behind President Kenyatta's 'closest political ally' statement

In Summary

  • Deleting a President's official social media handles is a major issue - not quite a national security level issue but in 2019, it might as well be - if there is anything like that so this means people would ask a lot of questions.
  • When some Twitter employee deleted President Donald Trump's Twitter account, it was breaking news globally and even the CIA were involved to try and get to the bottom of it.

Three words. Three words that left little to the imagination on Friday caused so much drama that many suspect they were the reason behind the suspending of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s social media accounts.

Like most things these days, it all started with a tweet. “If you are corrupt we will fight you. You can be my brother or my sister or my closest political ally. I won’t be clouded by ethnicity or status in my quest to leave behind a united nation and I will continue championing for Kenya’s unity” tweeted Mr. Kenyatta’s official Twitter account.

An hour later, the President’s Facebook and Twitter accounts had been suspended with State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita saying it was a result of “unauthorized access.”

“On account of unauthorized access to the official social media handles of H.E the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. All official social media handles for the President have been temporarily suspended to allow for the necessary remedial measures to be undertaken,” he said.

Deleting a President’s official social media handles is a major issue – not quite a national security level issue but in 2019, it might as well be – if there is anything like that so this means people would ask a lot of questions.

When some Twitter employee deleted President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, it was breaking news globally and even the CIA were involved to try and get to the bottom of it.

What exactly does unauthorized access mean? Was the account hacked? Why not delete the offending tweet or status and move on? This is not a road or a building that needs to be closed to allow for renovations.

But while people were still scratching their heads, some keen Kenyans noted that a video shared by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU) had the “closest political ally” line edited out.

Was the “closest political ally” character his Deputy President William Ruto? Does this mean the infighting between Uhuru and Ruto camps has hit a crescendo and it is now an all out war?

Again, Mr. Waita tried to downplay the issue tweeting; “It seems the President’s stand on corruption has generated all manner of reactions.”

But that did little to calm the waters and this pressure may have forced PSCU to release the original version that contained “closest political ally” in what Mr. Waita said was to show that the President stands by his statement.

No word on why the accounts were suspended but those three words seem to have a lot to do with it. We just have to wait and see what happens next.

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Story By Philip Mwaniki
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