Nairobi News


Githongo draws Itumbi’s wrath over ‘Turihamwe’ tweet

July 10th, 2015 1 min read

A former Government official’s decision to refer to National Youth Service recruits as “militia” has drawn sharp reactions from social media users.

John Githongo – a former Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics cum whistle blower, used his official Twitter page to describe the increasing activities by the NYS as “chilling”.

“Chilling that this NYS militia is already being called ‘turihamwe’ – name taken from Rwanda’s ‘interahamwe'”, Githongo wrote on his verified Twitter page @johngithongo, a statement accompanied by a photo of hundreds of youths wielding machetes.

Githongo’s post on Twitter that sparked an exchange with Itumbi.

This statement sparked immediate response from Director of Digital Communication in the Office of the President Dennis Itumbi who dragged the name of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s into the debate.

“NYS militia? @johngithongo so if @RailaOdinga calls it a Militia it becomes one? Second, who is calling it turihamwe? Is that not Tuko Pamoja” Itumbi responded.


Itumbi went on to accuse Githongo of working for “donors”.

“Anyway, @johngithongo as you write the preamble of your proposal to your donors on this issue, add the line @NYS_Ke is getting bigger in 2015,” he wrote.

Tens of Twitter users joined the debate, with @OretaBen posting:

“So Dennis responds to John but didn’t say anything about Moses Kuria… Hypocrite.”

This statement was perhaps in reference to a statement by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who has been on the spot for reportedly making a statement that was widely viewed as incitement to violence.

The MP has since apologized in public for suggesting that those opposed to the activities at NYS be harmed.