KENYA — Tribal lines are being drawn over who won Kenya’s presidential election. But unlike the bloody violence that scarred the country eight years ago, this time the tribal line is in the social media.
The violence, wars and discriminating other tribes in public are being replaced by bitter Tweets and angry status on facebook.
The exchange of barbs between supporters of the current his Excellency Mr. President and the Former Prime Minister of Kenya have now created groups in the social Medias that they use to fight online by posting status that either directly or indirectly attack or discriminate the other leader they don’t like him.
The Ministry of Information and Communications once said after the elections was complete that it has been unable to contain “the ugly messages of hate and negative ethnicity” online. He said many of the messages qualify as hate speech. They are not only the status to express how one feel but it used to express the hate one feels toward his supporter’s opponent. Which triggers the other supporter’s opinion that will probably not be polite? I gauze so.
The outrage is becoming wider and the tension is palpable. It’s going to erode all our efforts of building national cohesion.
After Kenya’s disputed presidential vote in late 2007, ODM supporters took to the streets. Tribal violence erupted, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,000 people. Specific regions in the our beloved country was left to certain tribal that thought it belonged to them and few who were found around were killed. This was against the freedom of movement that is well defined in our Constitution. We don’t want this to happen again especially now that we have a common enemy with us, The Al Shabaab!!
No major violence has been reported, but the interactions are ugly online. Ethnic allegiances are exposed and ridiculed. The president’s tribe, the Kikuyus and opposition leader’s tribe the Luos clashed violently five years ago, now they insult each other via the internet. The social media in Kenya as lost meaning or Kenyan have just being too wise to change the meaning of that word “social Media” without realising that. If only all this creativeness can be transferred to trying to bring Kenya together am sure Kenya would be coolest place to be on earth.
Some of the posts that trigger tribal in Kenya are like “We may be thieves but we are also enterprising. No wonder we employ u to use (your) brains in our jobs coz u don’t use (yours) to better (your) lives n that’s the way it is. We run u not vice versa so swallow it.” While other like “Hiyo kiti si ya familia, meaning that seat is not for your family” are the kind of the message we should try to avoid to make our country the safest place on earth.
A Facebook group called” Stop Raila Odinga” Now has more than 20,000 members while another one like “Nyanza Si Kenya” has also more than 20,000 follower who are engaged in online hate messages. How many followers do “Ke1Tribe” which is a page on facebook that tries to kick tribalism out of Kenya has? Less than 60. If only members of this two tribalism pages were trying to kick tribalism outside, we would not only be a loving nation but also a nation that can easy protect our borders from common enemies.
Most of the people have now stopped following me on twitter and facebook simply because I am from a certain tribe, they are not willing to get my opinion on best things about kicking tribalism in Kenya that I post. The social media has simply upgraded the Tribal clashes.
“GOD BLESS KENYA”