NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan politicians, cabinet secretaries
and other government officials have turned to social
media to promote their work, in particular development
projects, as the influence of the online sites grow in
the East African nation.
politicians and government officials are blowing their
own trumpets on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by posting
photos and videos of the events they attend, the
bursaries they give, the classrooms they are
constructing, the roads they repair, relief food they
are donating and whom they are meeting.
It is a new
trend that has been entrenched in a country where being
in the limelight, especially by being seen that one is
serving the public, earns a huge mileage.
the front to showcase their work on social media is
President Uhuru Kenyatta, followed by dozens of cabinet
secretaries, governors and legislators both from the
ruling coalition Jubilee and the opposition National
the FIFA World Cup trophy which is on a global tour
ahead of the this year’s tournament in Russia,” a
message on Kenyatta’s Twitter and Facebook pages read on
Monday, accompanied with colorful photos.
earlier, the president had posted on his social media
pages, “Together with President @kagutamuseveni of
Uganda when we commissioned the Busia one-stop border
point. The infrastructure project will ease the movement
of people and goods across our two countries for the
prosperity of our people.”
broadcasted the message to his 3 million followers on
Twitter and millions of others on Facebook.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Tourism
Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala are also using social
media to showcase work, or market the nation’s tourism.
an opposition MP from Kibra, is among those who have
used social media effectively to popularize themselves
and their projects.
constructed a modern school in his constituency that is
largely a slum in Nairobi, Okoth posted photos of the
But it is
all not rosy for the government officials and
legislators as some have received a backlash from their
posting. Last week, Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure
Kindiki was criticized widely on social media after
posting photos of himself helping to construct a
mud-walled classroom after arriving at the event in a
Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solution, noted that
social media has become key in publicizing events and
happenings and enables leaders to communicate directly
to the public without going through mainstream media.
“It is a
fast way to read the public mood about what happened as
it offers an immediate feedback. I am sure the
legislator who helped construct a mud-wall classroom
after arriving in a chopper would never do it again,” he
State of the Internet in Kenya 2017 report released by
the Bloggers Association of Kenya last week showed that
some 12 million Kenyans were on active on WhatsApp, 7.1
million on Facebook. Instagram has 4 million users while
Twitter some 1.5 million people.
the Communication Authority, some 30 million Kenyans are
internet users, with the number rising over the years
thanks to smart phones, where they also access social