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Why deactivation of Uhuru’s Twitter accounts came as a big shock

At around 5pm on Friday July 27, 2018, two popular Twitter accounts which have in the past been used for disseminating information to the public on behalf of the Presidency were pulled down.

The deactivation of the two accounts, @PresidentKE (President of Kenya) and @PSCU_Digital (PSCU Kenya Digital), happened barely an hour after State House, via a directive sent to newsrooms, disassociated itself with these two accounts.

“State House has undertaken a review of the various digital media accounts that have in the past been used to convey official information on the activities of the H.E the President, Uhuru Kenyatta,” the statement read in part.

“In this regard and with immediate effect the only official digital media channels that will convey information for and on behalf of the President, Her Excellency the First Lady and State House are as detailed below:

Twitter: @StateHouseKenya, @UKenyatta, @FirstLadyKenya @KanzeDena

Facebook: State House Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, @Office of the First Lady Kenya.”

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Then came the punch.

“Please note that all official communication originating from the President’s Strategic Communications Unit shall be strictly communicated through the aforementioned channels.”

Incidentally, President Uhuru Kenyatta had sent out a message to the world via one of the ‘banned’ accounts just hours before it was deactivated.

In the message, the Head of State celebrated the decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to award Nairobi the hosting rights for the 2020 U20 World Athletics Championships.

“Athletics is our way of Life,” said the President in the tweet in which he tagged the IAAF’s president Sebastian Coe.

PHOTO | COURTESY
PHOTO | COURTESY

Last week the other ‘banned’ account was also used by President Kenyatta to announce military appointments.

PHOTO | COURTESY
PHOTO | COURTESY

These developments, according to analysts, point to power play within State House.

Others have linked it to power struggle ahead of the increasingly volatile Uhuru succession race which has commenced in earnest, four years to election day.