It is sponsored - Caroline Mutoko dismantles hashtag on food prices

I blocked 246 people and deleted those hashtags from my page - Caroline Mutoko

Radio Africa Group Marketing Manager Caroline Mutoko

Kenyan media influencer Caroline Mutoko has slammed the #lowerfoodprices social media hashtag that took the Kenyan internet space by storm on February 20.

While asking Kenyans online to cultivate a sharper sense in sniffing out political propaganda, the Radio Africa Group Marketing Manager termed the hashtag as 'disingenuous'.

"Without telling me you're a Kenyan voter with selective amnesia, I'll show you who you are. You are the person blindly propagating the hashtag #lowerfoodprices... I looked at it and I thought it seemed a bit disingenuous.

"Do we all not remember that two weeks...three weeks to the election in 2017 we were unable to buy two packets of unga (flour) each? Are you telling me that our ability to forget how we felt at that time is so good that we can repeat the same narrative again?" she posed.

Ms Mutoko went on to disclose that she had it on good authority that the hashtag had been sponsored for promotion saying that she was 'happy for those who got paid for it and laughed in the faces of those who had not'.

Alluding to the possibility of political players having been the ones who sponsored the hashtag, Ms Mutoko observed that of all the public figures' and media stations' pages that had been littered by the hashtag, political figures' pages largely remained unmarked.

"At this moment the last post on Raila Odinga's page was posted seventeen hours ago and it says 'Mombasa Nawapenda'. The post has one hundred and ninety-two comments and none of them is a singular item that says #lowerfoodprices, they are all about other things," she narrated.

Taking to Deputy President William Ruto's social media posts from a similar length of time back, Mutoko observed that of the 110 comments she looked through, they had also lacked 'a direct, singular line, lower food prices'.

Prior to the detailed video posted on her social media pages, the Head of Programming at Kiss 100 had responded to one Joseph Motochi who had asked her to state her reasons for not promoting the hashtag.

“Nope. Not boarding. One, I checked Uhuru Kenyatta’s pages, Raila’s pages Ruto’s pages, and everyone in elected office or running for office and I haven’t seen more than 10 tweets to them with this hashtag.

"Two, you're coming here for what? You didn't vote for me. Three, take the battle to the person/s who can actually do something. Four, this is yet another passing moment, by 5:00 p.m. you'll be tweeting about something else fickle and current. Spare me,” Mutoko outlined.

She went on to rhetorically ask: "Why do we agree to be wasted like this? Why?"

The hashtag began to trend at the top on both Facebook and Twitter on February 20, with various top and verified social media accounts and even ordinary online users joining with their posts.

By the end of the day, the hashtag had gained overtones, with the most prominent one calling for a civil boycott of the upcoming elections.

In what seemed to be a direct message to Kenyan social media influencers, Mutoko offered the hashtag #HakunaKuraBilaChakula for similar promotion.

"Here's a hashtag for you, hakuna kura bila chakula (no elections without food) and I'd like to see that on every single person's Twitter handle and Facebook page, over one thousand, two thousand, three thousand times but I can tell you here and now that you won't do it. And it's not because you're a coward and you hide behind your keyboard, not because you have pseudo accounts to do all this but it's because you are disingenuous and the politicians know it," she offered.

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