NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – Kenyans have been urged by police to be wary of fake news being spread on social media and intended to cause fear and anxiety.
Nairobi Police boss Japheth Koome says already detectives are pursuing a city banker who posted a threatening message on Twitter.
Using his twitter handle, the Relation Manager at a leading City bank posted, “Nishabuy panga na marungu .I will surely kill some of them.”
It is that tweet that has made him a wanted man.
“This is a whole banker. We are looking for him,” a visibly irritated Koome told Journalists on Monday, during a press briefing held at the City Centre.
“He will go to court and many more will also go. You joke with the social media but you will carry your own cross. Some may be doing it innocently, but I don’t think whether you know the implications.”
The police boss also disputed claims that there were attacks in Mathare slums, information that was being spread on social media, with a motive of causing fear and as a result violence
“If I take your fingerprints because you have committed a serious crime, you will never get a certificate of good conduct in this country. You cannot even do any business, you cannot even be a tout since you need to have a certificate of good conduct. Think twice when you want to joke with the social media,” he cautioned. “But that is what I am paid by Kenyans…to get those who cause trouble, and take you to jail. I will take you to Kamiti.”
Sunday night police reports indicate two people died in Mathare , one was killed by a relative while another one was shot by unknown assailant.
“There was no Mungiki attacking people,” Koome asserted.
Protests ensued on Friday night in Mathare, Kibera and other informal settlements in the City but he says calm has since resumed with a 24 hours surveillance to ensure sanity prevails.
So far, 8 people have lost their lives within the City, since President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of 2017 General Election according to Koome.
Koome, however, says that majority of those were killed after they engaged police officers, “who in self-defence fatally injured them.”
The Police Service continues to be on the spot for using excessive force, an allegation they have dismissed.
“The amount of force we use is determined by the situation,” the County Commander stated.
Though locals and even opposition politicians believe police are responsible for the death of a 9 year old girl in Mathare, Koome has a different narrative.
“That night police were pursuing an armed gunman who was shooting haphazardly and unfortunately, the girl was killed and the thug managed to escape,” Koome said.
Locals who claim to have witnessed the incident say they can identify the officer who pulled the trigger killing the young girl.
The Inspector General of Police has also defended the Service from accusations that police have killed tens of Kisumu locals.
“The National Police Service takes great exception to untruthful allegations made by some NASA politicians to the effect that the Police are responsible for killing 100 persons and hiding the corpses in body bags,” IG Joseph Boinnet said on Sunday.
“Equally, lacking in truth is the allegation made by the Kenya National Human Rights Commission that we are responsible for 24 deaths. These allegations are unfounded and have no basis in fact and are clearly aimed at escalating tensions in the Country.”
In the past two days, he said, “we are aware of six (6) fatalities, in which criminals armed and acting with deadly intent attacked Police officers attempting to effect arrest, resulting in fatal neutralisation of the attackers.”
In Nairobi’s, Ruaraka, two (2) criminals were shot dead while breaking into a supermarket at Kasabuni. When challenged to surrender, they attacked the law enforcement officers with machetes with intent to harm them.
“The third one was in Starehe, Nairobi where there was a group of 25 people armed with assorted crude weapons breaking into private houses and who menacingly challenged and charged at Police officers.
The fourth and fifth (2) criminals were fatally neutralised after a gang of six broke into a shop in Kariobangi, Nairobi. As Police pursued them, they fired at the Police officers who fired back in defense.
The sixth fatality occurred in Kisumu when a criminal was shot after a large riotous mob blocked Dago – Kiboswa road and barricaded it with bonfires and stones and attacked motorists and pedestrians. The Police Officers attempting to effect arrest were also attacked.”
He has urged Kenyans to avoid re-circulating photos that are not verified as real.
“They are being used to incite & undermine our security,” he said.