Government insists it will not shut down internet, social media on election day
The government has assured Kenyans that there will be no shut down of the internet or social media when the country goes to the polls next week on Tuesday.
Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology, Joe Mucheru gave the assurances during the Kenya Editors Guild breakfast meeting.
“We are not shutting down the internet. We enjoy a democratic space and we assure you that there will be no internet shutdown,” Mucheru said.
The CS also said that the government had also put in measures that will ensure Kenyans are not duped by ‘fake tallies.’
Mucheru’s assurances come amid concerns over hate speech and how election results will be shared to Kenyans.
Last week, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) suggested that it would shut down Facebook.
“If Facebook does not comply with the requirements that we set for them within seven days, we will recommend that Facebook services be suspended,” NCIC’s commissioner Danvas Makori, adding that their efforts to promote peace and integration had been suppressed.
“We have been trying to push peace messages on Facebook but Facebook has been suppressing them. We have been unable to fight hate speech because Facebook has refused to allow us to publish these messages.”
Uganda and Tanzania are some of the countries that have in the past shut down internet and social media during elections in what analysts termed as an affront to free speech.