President Uhuru Kenyatta’s social media accounts were deactivated on March 22, 2019, and today, while speaking during the launch of the BBI signature drive, the Head of State shed light on why he could not keep up with the platform.
While drumming up support for the BBI referendum, President Kenyatta said he prefers interacting with leaders face to face and does not follow their sentiments online.
He stated that he deactivated Twitter due to the constant insults and name-calling that flooded his timeline, saying he would rather sleep and engage First Lady Margaret Kenyatta than keep up with the social media platform.
“Ata twitter niliondoka huko nikaona hiyo kitu ni bure ni matusi tu. Unakaa hapo unasoma hulali. Afadhali nilale nipige story na mama…nilale niamke niende kufanya kazi,” he said amid laughter from those attending the BBI event.
When his account was deactivated, Uhuru was one of the most followed African leaders on Twitter as @UKenyatta had around 3.62 million followers.
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His Facebook account was deactivated shortly after and Kenyans wondered why the President had opted out of social media.
State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita said the move was informed by unauthorised access to the President’s official social media handles and ‘necessary remedial measures’ had to be undertaken.
However, the President’s last tweet appeared to have played a part in the drastic action as he had strongly hit out at corrupt leaders saying he wanted to leave a legacy.
“If you are corrupt we will fight you. You can be my brother or my sister or my closest political ally but if you are corrupt we will fight you. 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,” read the tweet.
Some speculated that the tweet had targeted Deputy President William Ruto who, at the time, said the anti-graft war was targeting him.
“There has been an attempt to hijack war on corruption and turn it into war against a specific individual. A war on corruption that lacks integrity becomes corruption itself. A war that lacks integrity is impunity,” DP Ruto had said.