Mike Sonko's Instagram page suspended over controversial remarks

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. (Courtesy)

City politician Mike Sonko's Instagram account with a following of over 1.3 million has been suspended.

The page was supposedly suspended after he shared a controversial post with an explicit video where he asked members of the public to lynch suspects for a handsome fee.

The clip which had gone viral and has since been traced to its origin, was a recording in which a group of men took turns to sexually assault an unidentified female individual.

According to a police report, the incident took place in Chebanyi village in Kimaya, Chepalungu, Bomet County, and led police to detain 7 positively identified suspects awaiting trial.

In his post, Sonko condemned the heinous act but it is his sentiments in the post that seemed to invoke anger citing fears that his online activity could castigate violent treatment towards the suspects that led to his suspension.

Sonko shared a short snippet of the explicit video where a lady could be heard screaming and wrote, “This is inhumane and I am willing to give a cash reward of 1 million shillings anytime any of these thugs seen in the video is taken down. That will be 7 million which I will reward in cash to anyone who'll teach those boys a 'good lesson'.”

The post attracted thousands of likes in minutes as his followers flooded the comment section with divergent views before his account was pulled down.

But according to Sonko, he doesn't regret his expression, saying that he had already appealed to the social platform to consider revoking their action as not wrongdoing.

"I may have written the post fueled by anger at the time when I viewed the clip but as a parent with daughters, I strongly condemn the act and whilst bringing the perpetrators to book is justice for the victim, they (Instagram) should be taught a bigger lesson to discourage such characters in the society," he said.

The former county boss believes that none of his followers reported his post saying that many had shared his opinion with others even committing to top up the cash amount in support of his appeal.

"Very few, if any, of my followers disapproved of my appeal to members of the public. I mean, we are human and we have our female counterparts, none should be subjected to such animosity and if it happens I think the only justice fit for the victim should be bare the maximum and harsh punishment, probably the equivalent of a death sentence,” said Sonko.

Sonko acknowledges that he may have reacted extremely when sharing the post but (Instagram) should be able to critically analyse and rethink its action about pulling down posts that promote a safe and equal treatment of citizens, many of whom are its users.

"We are our own moral cops and such elements and vices should be brought to light to enlighten and create awareness. It's unimaginable to even think that were it for social media, the perpetrators would be scot free with the victim bearing all the burden by herself."

In his defense, Sonko said that he used his social media platform to reach out to his followers with worthy news, and comedy and only hurls insults on a light note.

"It's never that serious, if I have a personal difference with any individual I face them head on. My social media platform is purely for educational and entertainment purposes,” he concluded.

Never short of controversy, Sonko has been flagged severally and even had his other accounts suspended after sharing controversial posts.

Not long ago, the outspoken businessman had his Facebook and TikTok accounts with close to 5 million followers jointly, suspended after his derogatory remarks towards members of the LGBTQ community stated that their habits went against our African culture and values.

At the height of the Covid - 19 pandemic, his accounts were yet again suspended after he shared information warning citizens that the pandemic was a scheme for the wealthy to enrich themselves by creating vaccines for sale. He never recovered them.

Social media accounts may be suspended if they go against stipulated guidelines due to posting copyrighted content, using banned hashtags, or being reported by other users.


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