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Webuye East MP Martin Wanyonyi ‘plagiarizes’ Ruto’s condolences message

By Winnie Mabel September 22nd, 2023 2 min read

It would appear the spirit of plagiarism continues to follow President William Ruto, only this time, he and his communications team are not the culprits.

This after Member of Parliament for Webuye East, Martin Pepela Wanyonyi, ‘copied’ a condolence message President Ruto sent to mourn the late Kenyan music producer Byron Muhando Kivisi who was the brains behind several gengetone hit songs in the country.

In his message, which was shared on September 21, 2023, President Ruto wrote:

“Deeply saddened by the death of music producer and artist Byron Muhando Kivisi. Byron was first introduced to me by music sensation Xray during a music recording session of the hit song Sipangwingwi at the Deputy President’s residence in Karen. I recall with fondness his calm and collected demeanor, but more importantly his immense talent that made him an acclaimed music producer. It is disheartening that we have lost Byron at a prime age. We are comforted by the fact that his works of art will live on. To the family, friends and his fans, accept our sincere condolences. Rest In Peace, Byron.”

Also read: Ruto mourns music producer and artist Byron Muhando

Hours later, on the same social media platform, Mr Wanyonyi mourned one his constituents by the name Felix Tawai in what read like rehashed version of the President Ruto’s earlier message. In his message, the MP wrote:

“Deeply saddened by the death of my friend and brother Felix Tawai. Felix was not only a dedicated and committed servant of our Constituency he also played a pivotal role in our campaign to ensure we won the last election. I recall with fondness his calm and collected demeanor on the campaign trail, but more importantly, while we seemed not to be popular and winning the last election he helped in summoning the necessary hope to keep all of us confident of a win.  It is disheartening that we have lost Felix at a prime age. We are comforted by the fact that his courage and conviction of a better and equal Constituency will live on. To the family,  friends, and my stuff, accept my sincere condolences. Rest in peace. Brother,” said Honorable Wanyonyi about eight hours later.

Also read: Ruto mourns death of gengetone ‘Sipangwingwi’ producer

President Ruto’s communications team have been caught up in plagiarism incidents before. In June 2023, his team copy-pasted a content creator’s work, The Second Vulture, on the President’s verified social media pages and used it without crediting the content creator, Moibenshire.

Minutes after posting the work, the content creator called them out for lifting and using his work without crediting him. Within 10 minutes, President Ruto’s team deleted the post and republished it after adding quotation marks as if to try and make their copy different from Moibenshire’s.

In another incident, Dennis Itumbi, one of President Ruto’s bloggers, lifted the work of another content creator, Mkenya Isaak 7Million, and used it to give undue praise to the government.

The content creator called out Itumbi for lying to people and refusing to handle the issue properly by either stating the true facts of what his content was about or taking down the false post in its entirety.

Also read: Anaombea hata mvua? Five standout prayers by Rachel Ruto