Five bloggers who fell out with Kenya Kwanza
During the campaign season in the run-up to the 2022 presidential elections, several bloggers aligned themselves with either the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) or the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance.
These two outfits backed the top two contenders for the presidential seat in the polls. President William Ruto triumphed in the poll, beating his opponent, Raila Odinga by about 200,000 votes.
During this campaign season and over the ensuing months after President Ruto formed government, bloggers were particularly visible online as they drummed up support for their preferred candidate.
The campaign season was as hot as can be expected with each camp working to discredit their opponents.
Once in government, however, over the ensuing months, Kenya Kwanza bloggers – who heavily campaigned online for President Ruto – fell out with the alliance.
Nairobi News lists five renowned bloggers who made their bitter issues with Kenya Kwanza public knowledge:
- Captain Dominic Omondi – On September 18, 2023, Captain Omondi, a blogger, youth rights activist, digital strategist, and political analyst, claimed Mr Emmanuel Talaam, the Press Secretary to the Presidential Communication Service, fired him from his role within the Kenya Kwanza government due to fears of being replaced at work. He wrote on Twitter. “Benji Ndolo has been fired by Dennis Itumbi just like Talam fired me after seeing that am more clever than him and Ruto would have considered me over him. He is crying thinking we care. I told Benji Ndolo that he will not last a year in UDA and it’s now evident. Ruto’s regime is dying a peaceful death,” said Captain Omondi.
- Benji Ndolo- On September 18, 2023, Mr Ndolo, a communications practitioner and political strategist, revealed he had been kicked out of President Ruto’s Media Voices WhatsApp group for ‘telling the truth’. The announcement came hours after he went public demanding President Ruto reduce the cost of fuel in Kenya by 50%. He claimed his stance was among the reasons he was kicked out of the group. “I’ve not incited anyone. I’ve offered ideas. Can’t force anyone to listen, and can’t work for a dictator anyway. It’s disgusting,” Mr Ndolo defended himself.
- Maverick Aoko- In July 2023, Ms Aoko, a trained journalist/blogger fell out with Kenya Kwanza when she sensationally claimed President Ruto’s allies had dumped her. She had been brought into the government side after falling out with Raila Odinga’s opposition Orange Democratic Movement party, claiming to have been sexually misused by a handful of married politicians. “Ruto’s Gafment (government) is teeming with mendacious charlatans. If you see a whole former chief justice demonstrate at a police station, know folks are irked. Those of us who have been defending this Gafment, they’ve started treating us like liabilities,” said Ms Aoko. She then began posting worrying posts about her mental health and suicide attempts as her life took a downward spiral. Recently, she said a senior Kenyan politician had approached her and promised to help her genuinely get back on her feet. She is currently looking for work.
- Bianca Naomi- An ardent Kenya Kwanza blogger, Ms Naomi cried foul in June 2023 when the government began poaching rival bloggers from the Azimio camp. They claimed this was evident when the government sent the opposition allied bloggers invites to Madaraka Day festivities and some Kenya Kwanza bloggers were overlooked. “Another day for Azimio bloggers to reap where they didn’t sow! They’re now enjoying the Madaraka we fought for! They’ve received invitation cards as Kenya Kwanza bloggers watch the Madaraka Day event on TV. A government we fought for showing us the middle finger? Very sad,” lamented Ms Naomi.
- Gordon Opiyo- In March 2023, this blogger finally dumped the Kenya Kwanza regime after enduring police arrest, his sacrifices being unappreciated, and claiming he feared for his safety. In his statement, Mr Opiyo wondered if it was worth it to support the “rudderless” Kenya Kwanza government and its network of communicators against a well-oiled, well-organized Raila Odinga camp that is allegedly funded by former president Uhuru Kenyatta. He also revealed he had received threats to his safety and was personally attacked for supporting the Kenya Kwanza regime; and that his businesses and friendships collapsed because of opposing opposition leader Raila Odinga. He confirmed that he would focus on other non-political matters and keep off them for good, saying he had sacrificed more than enough and had lost too much because of politics.