Twitter erupts over Julie Gichuru video

Former Citizen Television news anchor Julie Gichuru has been posting a series of peace messages on her Twitter account ahead of August 8 general election.

The seemingly harmless tweets have ruffled the feathers of a section of Twitter users, with the bone of contention being a video Ms Gichuru posted on her social media page recently, trying to explain the link between peace and credible elections.

In the video, Ms Gichuru says: “Don’t let the pseudo intellectuals lie (to you) that one can seek justice via violence. Conflict is the mother of injustice and she breeds a multitude.”

While it was not immediately clear what she meant by ‘pseudo intellectuals’, the reference seems to have sparked disapproval, with sections speculating that she was indirectly attacking a NASA technocrat, who is known for his constant criticism of the ruling administration, Jubilee.

The NASA technocrat, who describes self as a public intellectual, had, last week, tweeted that “if President Kenyatta is declared winner in another sham election, the country will burn”.

The technocrat would, during a TV interview Monday, July 3, defend his statement, saying he was quoting an article he had written in a newspaper column in 2016 “when tension was high in the country” as the Opposition, at the time, was calling for the ousting of the then-IEBC commissioners, led by ex-chair Issack Hassan.

In yet another tweet, Julie Gichuru claimed that the 2013 presidential election was won fair and square by President Kenyatta, triggering a more heated debate on Twitter.

Ms Gichuru in mid June, 2017 emceed at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fundraiser, which was held at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. Kenyans were livid that her perceived career – a journalist – called for impartiality.

Now the same premise is being used to denounce her peace messages, and a few Kenyans feel that the peace messages are a camouflage that is meant to deter people from the issue at hand, which is the need for free and fair elections.

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