The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, found himself inadvertently involved in a Twitter spat yesterday after a posting a message wishing Kenyans a “Happy Mashujaa Day”
“Heroes brought freedom and justice to Kenya. All should work to protect their legacy and for common good of all Kenyans,” his early morning Tweet continued.
Responses were mixed. Moses Amolo replied with “Really as you work behind the scenes feverishly to subvert the will of the Kenyan people… Oh please” while Maureen Kyle posted “Thank you…. You are a hero too”.
The Ink Junkyard was more direct, telling the High Commissioner: “Just shut it bwana balozi,” but this message was countered by Francis Hook who told the Twitter user his message was “unwarranted”.
But the Ink Junkyard bit back, adding: “It’s the hear no evil,see no evil speak no evil attitude since August 8 that rankles.”
Mr Hailey was clearly fed up with the negative responses to what was intended as a positive message.
Posting a follow up, he Tweeted: “To all trolling & accusing on
#ElectionsKE: it’s a holiday. Maybe chill for a day and reach into hearts for what can unite Kenyans? #KOT”.
This message resulted in 74 replies, 79 retweets and 108 likes.
LindaRose was clearly unimpressed, replying with: “This is OUR country. We cannot ‘chill’ because you’re tired and want to move on with life. Wrongs must be made right before anything else!!”
This was one of many negative responses. Apram Lincoln added: “Typical British stupidity. Keep calm & continue being oppressed kind of thing. I bet you had a good cup of tea after that tweet.”
Enock Akanga Matende jumped into the online spat with: “If you are tired go home to your rainy country. You see unlike you we care 4 this country we will fight until justice prevails.”
We will rest when we are not being killed… and the Intl community stops cheering
— Muluhya Konk (@SimlawSimiyu) October 20, 2017
Some responses showed a level of suspicion over Britain’s interest in the Kenyan elections with Victor Kizito calling on the High Commissioner to: “Come clear on your interest in Kenya’s elections, is it our oil? Do you want to make Kenya another Rwanda?”
Among the blunt replies was this from Akidiva Kevin who said: “Put a sock in it and mind your own business!! You are part of the malaise that ails this country.”
Despite the majority of replies being negative, there were some who supported the High Commissioner’s intention with Daniel Nyutu saying: “Thanks to UK for being a true friend of Kenya. Standing with Kenya in difficult times yet still demanding for accountability, governance.”
To Mr Hailey’s credit, he did not take all the criticism lying down. A Twitter user calling himself “Eric” said: “It is worth noting that Bob Godec and Nic Hailey have not said anything concerning the killing of protesters by Police,” to which the High Commissioner corrected with: “Wrong. I’ve repeatedly called on police to show restraint & act w/in law & for any who haven’t to be held fully accountable for actions.”
Wrong. I've repeatedly called on police to show restraint & act w/in law & for any who haven't to be held fully accountable for actions https://t.co/ns7yqVMpSf
— Nic Hailey (@HCNicHailey) October 20, 2017
One Twitter user decided to delete their message after the British diplomat replied with: “There is nothing wrong with peace and justice and liberty and development – surely? UK stands for those things. Proud to.”
Another response to a deleted Tweet was: “It must start w/in Constitution & law. They need nurturing and respect from all in and outside govt. Basis of UK position. Not partisan.”
The day before, the High Commissioner appeared on KTN to discuss the forthcoming re-run of the Presidential Election which you can watch above.