If you pay attention to our politics, you'll recall countless instances where a politician criticises the opposing party’s leaders for certain actions, only to do the same thing themselves later on.
During election campaigns, politicians make big promises and commitments, outlining their plans if elected. But once in the office, some change their tune. Social media can be a crucial tool in holding politicians accountable.
Politicians lying to the people is nothing new. Throughout history, leaders have used deceit to consolidate power or advance their agendas.
However, in this digital age, the consequences of such dishonesty are amplified due to widespread access to information and the interconnectedness provided by social media. Each one of us has broadcasting equipment in our hands in the name of a mobile phone and we can lender our voices.
The rise of social media platforms presents a unique opportunity for citizens to demand greater transparency and truthfulness from elected officials. Even if you feel like a lone voice in the wilderness, change can happen when a critical mass of people holds leaders accountable, regardless of political affiliation.
Social media platforms have emerged as powerful tools for fact-checking. Kenyans can fact-check politicians' claims in real-time, share accurate information and expose falsehoods to a wider audience.
Some politicians will plant their agents on social media platforms to threaten and insult those asking politicians hard questions, but that should not be a good enough reason to cower and stay silent. Our collective effort is crucial in ensuring that elected leaders are held accountable for their words and actions.
Fortunately, most politicians use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. By following them, you can stay updated on their activities, actions and policy decisions, assessing if they live up to their promises.
Engage with them through comments, questions and requests for updates on specific campaign promises.
By voicing concerns and seeking accountability through constructive dialogue, we can pressure politicians to address unfulfilled promises or explain their progress.
When a politician misleads the public, shares fact-checked articles and videos on social media. This raises awareness and ensures that citizens are well-informed about the progress, or lack thereof. By using hashtags and encouraging others to join in, Kenyans can amplify their voices and push politicians to fulfil their commitments. Social media platforms also provide a direct platform for Kenyans to engage with their representatives, demanding clarity and honesty when discrepancies arise.
Social media has given Kenyans a unique opportunity to hold politicians accountable for their words and actions.
By fact-checking, engaging directly and sharing accurate information, we can collectively demand transparency, honesty and drive positive change. With a critical mass pushing leaders to live up to their promises, social media has the power to create a more accountable political landscape.
Mr Wambugu is an accredited expert in cloud and cyber security. [email protected] Twitter: @Samwambugu2