Kenya

Kenya's president deactivates Facebook and Twitter accounts

All social media accounts for Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta have been deactivated after someone gained "unauthorised access", his chief of staff has tweeted.

Nzioka Waita gave no details how it happened but added that the platforms will be restored after "remedial action".

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Mr Kenyatta's Twitter and Facebook account have millions of followers.

Privately-owned newspaper The Star reports that a tweet deemed politically sensitive, that was posted this morning, was the reason behind the deactivation of the accounts.

The Star shared a screengrab of the tweet:

Twitter Screengrab
The Star/ Twitter

The paper reports that the mention of "my closest political ally" in the tweet could be referring to Mr Kenyatta's deputy, William Ruto.

Mr Ruto's supporters have been critical of Mr Kenyatta's latest war against corruption that has resulted in the arrest and questioning of top government officials, saying that it was a witch-hunt against his deputy.

They say that people seen as close to Mr Ruto were being targeted.

The relationship between the two leaders, who ran on a joint ticket in the 2013 and 2017 elections, is said to have been strained recently, especially after Mr Kenyatta called a truce with opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta - who were engaged in a bitter contest in the 2017 election - agreed to work together in 2018 for the sake of "peace in the country".

Their close relationship and Mr Odinga's increased profile since the truce are being seen by some as a political manoeuvre to scuttle Mr Ruto's plan to succeed Mr Kenyatta as president.

Read more: The handshake that left millions of Kenyans confused

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Photo: David Papaya Kwei outside his market salon Credit: BBC
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Kenyans hit out at government over Turkana drought

Peter Mwai

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenyans on Twitter have been using the hashtag #WeCannotIgnore to criticise the government following reports that at least 10 people have died of hunger because of the drought in the north-western Turkana region.

They accuse the government of ignoring the plight of drought victims, say politicians only go and see them when they need votes, and sarcastically dismiss government claims that no-one has died of hunger:

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These views have also been captured by a popular Kenyan cartoonist:

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Kenyan doctors want deal with Cuba to end

Ashley Lime

BBC News, Nairobi

The two main unions representing doctors in Kenya are piling pressure on the government to stop sending doctors to Cuba for training.

It follows the death of a Kenyan doctor in the country under circumstances that are still unclear.

Kenyan newspapers reported that Dr Hamisi Ali Juma allegedly took his own life shortly before he was to return to home to be with his wife and eight-month-old baby.

Dr Juma, who was in his mid-30s, was undertaking a postgraduate diploma training in family medicine in Cuba after the Kenyan government sponsored 50 young doctors to receive specialised training in the capital, Havana, last year.

In a statement, the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) said it was grieving the "untimely loss of this young promising life".

"Since our colleagues were shipped off to Cuba, we have heard numerous complaints from them on the treatment they have been receiving from, among others, representatives of our government," said KMA President Jacqueine Kitulu.

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists' Union said Dr Juma had reached out and expressed his frustration over the manner in which the government had "withheld or completely failed to pay their living expenses in a foreign country".

It said the government should train doctors locally - and end its deal with Cuba.

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A fortnight ago doctors wrote to Kenya's parliament on the challenges faced in Cuba.

The Kenyan embassy in Cuba and the police are investigating the doctor's death.

Last year, Kenya's government brought in about 100 Cuban doctors to plug a shortage of specialist doctors, but this was met with resistance from local doctors who said the Cubans were receiving preferential treatment and earning huge perks.

Kenya's privately owned Daily Nation newspaper reported at the time that the Cuban doctors were to earn $8,000 (£6,000) a month, more than some senior government officials.