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Tweeting Chief Francis Kariuki is dead


Nakuru’s Lanet Umoja location Chief Francis Kariuki, popularly known as the ‘tweeting chief’, is dead.

His family said he died at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, where he was rushed to for emergency treatment after experiencing breathing difficulties.

“My father fell ill on Tuesday and we first took him to Evans Sunrise Hospital in Nakuru before he was referred to the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, where he passed on, while receiving treatment,” his son, Ken Kariuki, told the Nation on phone.

His daughter revealed that Chief Kariuki has been ailing from diabetes for a long time.

The tech-savvy village chief of Lanet Umoja is known for using Twitter and other social media platforms to discharge his duties.

Chief Kariuki received global attention in 2014 for using Twitter to fight crime.

Mr Kariuki led a community of more than  30,000 residents.

Via text message

His Twitter account shows he has about 60,000 followers and those who receive his tweets via text message are said to be in the thousands.

Subscribers get his tweets in real-time via free text messages and don’t need to have a Twitter account or an internet connection.

The chief could send them at any time of the day or night using his smartphone.

At the time of his death, Chief Kariuki’s tweeting had reduced the crime rate in Lanet Umoja.

He also used Twitter to encourage unemployed youth through messages of hope.

In 2015, he graduated with a degree in Counseling Psychology from Mount Kenya University, which he had been pursued through virtual learning.