An erroneous tweet by the electoral agency yesterday sparked mixed reactions from Kenyans, with some accusing it of bias. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) found itself in a spot when it referred to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as "Burning Bridges Initiative" in a tweet.
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The commission has since apologised for the fault, saying that was not its position concerning the BBI. The agency was swift to pull down the post but it did not go unnoticed, as hawk-eyed followers quickly opened a debate on it. In the tweet, the IEBC was notifying members of the public that the verification exercise of the recently submitted BBI signatures had kicked off. “Happening now: the launch of the Burning Bridges Initiative supporters verification exercise at Bomas of Kenya,” it read.
Some netizens accused the electoral agency of bias while others felt it was just a mistake and was not deliberate. The tweet additionally fuelled rumours that the commission was allied to Tangatanga politicians, who are opposed to the referendum call.
Dennis Nyambane, a follower, wrote, “Raila Odinga was right. We will not go to the next General Election with the current IEBC team. It must be disbanded. The tweet about Burning Bridges Initiative confirms that Chebukati is a Tangatanga mole…” Bravin Yuri said, “IEBC just referred to BBI as Burning Bridges Initiative. The admin low-key knows the truth.”
Mwalimu Dida Kinuthia Mwangi said, “...l am shocked that an independent commission can openly be biased. Can they be trusted to deliver free and fair results?” Following the uproar, the IEBC posted another tweet to apologise for the mishap. The commission clarified that the post did not reflect its position or that of its staff regarding the BBI.