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'Burning bridges': IEBC sorry for Twitter goof

By Anyango Otieno | Dec 30th 2020 | 2 min read

IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati. Inset: A screenshot of the tweet the agency shared. [File, Standard]

A Twitter gaffe on Wednesday by the electoral agency has sparked mixed reactions from Kenyans with some accusing it of bias.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was on the spot following a tweet posted on its official page which referred to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as the Burning Bridges Initiative.

IEBC has since apologised for the fault noting that was not the commission's position concerning the BBI.

The agency was swift to pull down the post but it did not go unnoticed as hawk-eyed Twitter users were quick to notice the error which sparked a debate on the platform.

In the tweet, IEBC was notifying members of the public that the verification exercise of the recently submitted BBI signatures had kicked off.

It read, "Happening now: the launch of the Burning Bridges Initiative Supporters Verification Exercise at Bomas of Kenya (sic)."

Some netizens accused IEBC of bias while others felt it was just a mistake and not deliberate.

The tweet fuelled claims that the commission was allied to a section of politicians who are opposed to the referendum call.

Twitter user Dennis Nyambane said, "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 Tanga Tanga 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, "Someone at IEBC deliberately called BBI Burning Bridges Initiative. However, pleasing this is, 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 later apologised for the mishap. The commission clarified that the post did not reflect its position or that of its staff regarding the BBI.

"Earlier today, the Commission posted a tweet on the launch of the Verification of BBI supporters. However, there was a typographical error in the tweet which was made inadvertently. The error does NOT any in way reflect the position of the Commission or its staff," IEBC wrote.

It added: "The Commission sincerely apologizes to all its stakeholders and the General Public."

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021
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