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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jubilee MPs ask NCIC to probe Oluga for 'hate speech' on fake posts

KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga arrives for a meeting at Railway Club, Nairobi on January 24, 2017. /JACK OWUOR
KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga arrives for a meeting at Railway Club, Nairobi on January 24, 2017. /JACK OWUOR

Four Jubilee MPs have asked National Cohesion and Integration Commission to probe KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga for hate speech over a possibly doctored Facebook post.

They alleged that the medic has since 2014 been spewing tribal hatred on social media, particularly on Facebook.

The four included MPs Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu), John Kiragu (Limuru), Cornelly Serem (Aldai) and Beatrice Nkatha (Tharaka Nithi woman rep).

However, experts say the posts could have been fabricated through an App that can generate images purporting to be an update on a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

One such application is the Fake Post Maker for FB which can be easily downloaded from Google Play App store.

It has an editable template of a Facebook account which generates an image that can be forwarded to Twitter, WhatsApp or Instagram.

Once downloaded, it allows a user to simulate a genuine post from an account image, to likes and even a time stamp.

Read: Fake Ouma Oluga Facebook posts flood internet, how they were made

The legislators asked NCIC boss Francis ole Kaparo to probe the 'reckless perpetuation of hate and ethnic profiling'.

Ichung'wa argued that since Oluga has filtered views on his page points, the latter is attempting to cover up.

"From that vantage position, Oluga's ideas and opinions are highly influential and can fuel conflicts which are uncalled for," the MP said.

"To cast an ethnic community as a national problem and suggest or predict an' explosion' because of bitterness, is not only reckless but toxic," Ichung'wa said.

But opponents of the posts' legitimacy have, however, attributed it to a smear campaign meant to divert attention from the plight of doctors.

They posit that those behind the campaign want the focus of the strike to be on Oluga's alleged "dark" social media past.

Fake posts of Labour Relations Judge Hellen Wasilwa with a comment purported to be of President Uhuru Kenyatta have also been shared.

Kiragu said the country is headed for a general election hence the purported comments by Oluga are detrimental.

"The memory of the 2007/08 elections are still fresh in the mind of Kenyans. The hate comments propagated should be treated carefully," Kiragu said.

Serem urged NCIC to prosecute the doctors' union official over the said remarks, while Nkatha said Oluga must be held accountable.

Ichung'wa, at a press conference in Kisumu on Friday, read the purported posts which they want NCIC to use as basis of their probe.

Oluga has not commented on the allegations since they emerged on Thursday, hours after his release from Kamiti Maximum Prison.

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