Kenyans on social media are falling prey to fake news “reporting” the supposed deaths of former President Mwai Kibaki and veteran radio personality Leonard Mambo Mbotela.
A fake website trying to mimic the Houston Chronicles of Houston, Texas posted a fake story “confirming” the supposed death of former President Kibaki after he was hospitalized in critical conditions.
Many Kenyans spread the fake news with vigor causing a barrage of messages to jambonewspot.com seeking to confirm the news.
The fake news website stated that the former president supposedly died at Karen hospital where he had been rushed after falling ill at his Muthaiga home.
The malicious site further “quoted” a Dr Florence Ng’endo Mwangi “confirming” the death saying the medical team at the hospital worked tirelessly to save his life but were unsuccessful.
Mr Kibaki’s spokeman said the reports of his demise are idle rumors.
In April, Kibaki had opened up about his health saying that he was experiencing speech difficulties saying that is why he is now speaking in low tones.
In August last year, he was flown to South Africa for specialized treatment after he reportedly suffered a stroke.
In another social media killing, various bloggers including Cyprian Nyakundi who has been caught up in various controversies tweeted the “news” of the supposed death of Mzee Mambo Mbotela which is supposed to have happened after a serious road accident.
The veteran journalist received a flood of calls from international media seeking to confirm the news as well as a barrage of condolences after the fake news trended.
Mzee Mbotela assured his listeners on KBC, his fans and family that he was alive and well.
He said that he had forgiven the social media killers saying that the person who started the rumors does not know what he is doing and asked God to forgive him.
The bloggers who reposted the false news apologized for the misinformation.
“If you had reposted the same story please delete and clarify that he is ok. Let’s wish Mbotela a long life . He is a role model to many,” Nyakundi said.
Abraham Mutai said: “Again ladies and gentlemen, I apologise for incorrectly posting here about Leonard Mambo Mbotela. Errors are human. Mbotela is sound and OK.”