ODM spokesman opens up after Julie Gichuru was linked to Raila’s assassination

He was the highest-ranking official to speak on the matter

The ODM party’s official spokesman took to his Twitter page where he explained that the story ought not to have gained public attention because it was merely meant to assassinate Ms Gichuru’s character.

Etale, who is a former journalist, further called on both sides of the political divide to verify facts before publishing them on social media.

“The story of Julie Gichuru attempting to do this or that should be put to rest. Social media should not be used to character assassinate. Verification of facts is a must, good for integrity purposes. This applies to both sides. I am not defending anyone,” he tweeted.

Ms Gichuru, who is also celebrated media personality, found herself on the receiving end, after some social media users spread fake news, accusing her of attempting to assassinate Odinga during his return to the country on Friday last week.

The story, which had begun as a social media jokes, was widely shared to the extent that the former TV anchor’s life was threatened.

The media personality was eventually forced to come out and refute the story.

"Have some crazy bloggers made VILE, VICIOUS, DANGEROUS & FAKE allegations about me & RAO? This one  you must investigate. I do not believe in harming others. Never have. Never will. Never would. Now I am getting death threats over FAKE NEWS. Pathetic,” she complained.

Ms Gichuru is one of the recent victims of fake news, a phenomenon that is gaining traction in Kenya.

On Wednesday morning, NASA principal Kalonzo Musyoka also faced the problem of fake news after a website published a story claiming his wife, Pauline, had passed on in Germany.

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