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Chepkut death, Ombija’s noisy pub top trending stories online

With the elections behind us, our media monitoring shows a decrease in misleading content online. While we applaud the efforts and benefits to societies in the democratization of access to information around the globe, the advent of the internet has on many occasions brought numerous challenges.

The plurality of voices online is an important and beneficial part of digital transformation. But this has also made it hard for people to verify the authenticity of content published online.

Here are some of the trends identified by the online monitoring team for the period between October 8 and 14, 2022.

Former MP William Chepkut dies

The immediate former Ainabkoi Member of Parliament died on October 8, 2022, at Mediheal Hospital in Parklands, Nairobi. He had been ill for some time, according to his family. He died of sickness about 8:40a.m. Chepkut was the MP for Ainabkoi in Uasin Gishu County from 2017 to 2022. He lost the Ainabkoi parliamentary seat to his archrival Samuel Chepkong’a of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the previous general election. Chepkong’a received 26,479 votes to Chepkut’s 13,510 votes in the August 2022 elections. The recent election marked the third consecutive time Chepkut was facing off against Chepkong’a.

Kenyan runners win

Benson Kipruto and Ruth Chepng’etich won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2022, while Emily Sisson finished second and broke the American women’s record. Kipruto finished in 2:04:24, 25 seconds ahead of Ethiopian champion Seifu Tura Abdiwak. Kenya’s John Korir finished third in 2:05:01. Chepng’etich won the women’s race for the second year in a row, finishing in 2:14:18. Sisson completed the route in 2:18:29, followed by Vivian Jerono Kiplagat in 2:20:52. The 26.2-mile race attracted almost 40,000 runners.

President Ruto woos TZ

On October 10, 2022, President William Ruto committed to expand trade with Tanzania to promote strong bilateral ties between the two neighbouring nations. The President stated that the two countries will endeavour to double their trade from Sh90 billion to ensure that both trade and investors benefit from the relationship. The Head of State stated that the two countries’ Trade Cabinet Secretaries, along with other authorities, would meet to iron out fourteen trade barriers that have hindered activities between the two countries. President Ruto stated that the existing hurdles have stifled trade between the two East African nations. Sentiments echoed by his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu, who stated that there is a need to open trade between the countries to alleviate poverty and boost economic progress.

Ruto catches NSE off guard

The President arrived 25 minutes early at the NSE bell-ringing ceremony on October 11, 2022, taking top executives at the market off guard. The President stated that his administration intends to privatize six to ten government-owned companies during the next twelve months. Ruto directed that the Privatization Act be reviewed with the goal of eliminating it and replacing it with a more facilitative framework that will speed up privatizations. The Head of State stated that the government will assist companies seeking to be listed on the stock exchange and encouraged private sector enterprises to collaborate with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to list.

Trevor Ombija backlash

On October 12, 2022, Citizen TV presenter Trevor Ombija received a backlash from social media users for his remarks about the shutdown of noisy bars. Ombija, the owner of Samaki Samaki Club in Kileleshwa, shared his thoughts on how to address the closing of noisy bars and restaurants in a video that has now gone viral. He reported a scenario in the discussion between bar and restaurant owners, residents, and Nairobi county government in which one of the tenants near his restaurant has persistently claimed that his entertainment joint is noisy. He went on to say that he even offered to soundproof the neighbour’s house if they felt that his joint was still too noisy, but the neighbour declined. The Citizen TV news anchor noted that it should only count when more than 50% of the residents in an area raise concerns about a bar or restaurant.

GlaxoSmithKline quits Kenya

On October 13, 2022, UK drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced plans to shut its commercial operations in Kenya next year as it transitions to a third-party distribution model for its medicines and vaccines. However, the company stated that its medication manufacturing facility in Kenya, Haleon, will continue to operate. GSK stated that the termination of commercial operations will result in some job losses but did not provide specific figures. The firm has played a significant role in the Kenyan market, introducing Mosquirix, a malaria vaccine designed to reduce deaths among children.

Ida Odinga guard shot dead

Ida Odinga’s bodyguard on October 14, 2022, Barrack Otieno Oduor was fatally shot following a scuffle with the manager of the Dondez Bar & Restaurant in Kisumu County. He was with two other people: a male and a lady. According to police, the gunman shot Ida’s bodyguard twice in the head and leg. In the scuffle, he also injured Oduor’s male partner. He was rushed to Aga Khan Hospital for treatment and is now in stable condition. The incident was confirmed by Nyanza Regional Police boss Karanja Muiruri, who said an investigation is ongoing to determine the circumstances behind the aide’s death. The suspect fled with Oduor’s pistol, according to a report filed at the Obunga Police Station. The slain officer’s body was transferred to the mortuary of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital for a postmortem as police increase their efforts to apprehend the suspect and retrieve the missing firearm.

Kiambu politician in murder probe

A prominent Kiambu politician, was arrested on October 14, 2022, for reportedly plotting the murder of her husband, whose body was discovered in a thicket. According to Kiambu County Commander Perminus Kioi, preliminary investigations identified the lawmaker as the prime suspect in the murder of her husband, George Mwangi. Chania ran unsuccessfully for the office of Kiambu Woman Representative in the August 9 election. According to Kioi, investigations revealed that the deceased was slain at his house before his body was discovered on Wednesday by casual laborers working in tea fields in Kamunyaka.

No reprieve on fuel prices

Fuel prices dropped marginally in the October review by the energy regulator Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). The authority declared on October 14, 2022, that between October 15 and November 14, 2022, the prices of petrol and kerosene were reduced by Sh1, while diesel prices were reduced by Sh2. As of Friday midnight, a litre of petrol will cost Sh178.30, a litre of diesel will cost Sh163, and a litre of kerosene will cost Sh146.94 in Nairobi. The new prices will be in effect for the next 30 days, following which EPRA will announce new prices. The announcement, which will be revealed on November 14, 2022, might result in prices increasing, decreasing further, or remaining the same.

In conclusion, going forward it will be very important to investigate and instantly coordinate the removal of fake content with media partners, raising awareness of fake news and teaching media literacy to the public are also related challenges.

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