National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate and arrest a fake Twitter account user who has been impersonating him.
Mr Wetangula in a tweet on Sunday, revealed that he has already informed relevant investigative agencies including the DCI about the fake account that uses the name; ‘Hon. Moses M Wetangula’.
“My attention has been drawn to a post making rounds on social media using my name. Please note that the account being used to circulate the content is fake. I have alerted relevant authorities to look into the matter and take appropriate action,” he wrote on his official Twitter account.
Mr Wetang’ula’s official verified Twitter account is ‘Rt.Hon. Moses Wetang’ula.
The National Assembly Speaker has now cautioned Kenyans against falling prey to fake social media accounts impersonating government officials.
This comes as online DCI sleuths have begun to track down several social media users who have been impersonating senior government officials.
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DCI has been pursuing online fraudsters, and fake social media accounts users impersonating government officials, who have been giving Kenyans sleepless nights.
In the past two months, at least ten social media users have been arrested for impersonating senior government officials, including the president’s family.
Those impersonated included; the First Lady Rachael Ruto, President Ruto’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC) Fabian Lengusuranga, Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale and his Interior counterpart Kithure Kindiki.
The impersonations were on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, police said.
Other officials who have been impersonated are the Second Lady Dorcas Rigathi, Chief Justice Martha Koome, Defence CS Aden Duale and Energy and Petroleum CS Davis Chirchir.
The suspects arrested in the past two months included; Michael Wekesa, 19, Isaac Lukando Oduor, 19, and Dennis Kimaru, 25, separately in Sirisia and Kapsabet towns within Bungoma and Nandi counties respectively.
Police say Michael was the main suspect in an impersonation case where he had opened a Facebook account purporting to be working at the office of the First Lady where he managed to scam members of the public on the pretext that he can offer loans.
He would then ask for a deposit as processing fees and the money would then be sent to a phone number and later transferred to a till number under his name.
He was arrested on October 28, 2022, in Sirisia, Bungoma County.
Isaac Lukando Oduor, was operating a call centre for the scam.
The suspects were obtaining colossal amounts of money after duping unsuspecting Kenyans that they will be granted job opportunities, financial aid among other favors.
University student, Dennis Kimaru, was also arrested early this month, after being found operating a pseudo account for President William Ruto’s aide-de-camp Col Fabian Lengusuranga.
Kimaru has been using Facebook accounts Mzalendo Kimaru (Jeshii), Mzalendo Kym Korir and Obuntu Family, Twitter account: Mzalendo Kym and Instagram Mzalendo Kym, impersonating President William Ruto's ADC Fabian Lengusuranga.
Kimaru was arrested on October 23, 2022, in Kapsabet, Nandi County.
During his interrogation, Kimaru claimed that he opened the account to gain likes and followers on Facebook since the ADC’s appointment was trending on social platforms.
The probe files on those arrested are handed to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution.
Online impersonation and identity theft have forced leading social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to employ dedicated staff to control how people use online resources.
As part of the strategy, the companies have embraced the use of verified accounts at a cost to individuals and corporates to promote the credibility of information.
Early this month the DCI advised Kenyans to avoid responding to requests from unverified accounts, adding that any suspicious accounts should be reported to their hotline.
"Kenyans are advised to be wary of fake social media accounts and are cautioned not to send money to anyone in order to influence favours. Should you have any information that you would wish to share with us anonymously please dial #FichuakwaDCI 0800 722 203,”said the DCI.
Kenya has experienced tremendous growth in internet and mobile penetration ranking well above other African countries.