Citizen TV anchor, Yvonne Okwara ignited an outburst online following her rant on Citizen TV’s News Gang show on Thursday night, April 2, which she moderates and hosts fellow panellists Linus Kaikai, Joe Ageyo, Francis Gachuri and Jamila Mohamed.
The presenter weighed in on Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s directive to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on Thursday afternoon, April 2, asking the sleuths to arrest all social media users who mocked Covid-19 survivors Brenda Cherotich and Brian Kinda.
Okwara argued that the attacks were directed on women only, igniting a gender debate online.
“The CS categorically spoke on the issue. It is absolutely shameful how we behaved on social media and I have discussed this before on how we (netizens) want to bring people down and want to prove that we have receipts (of their activities). To what end does someone go to even post private photos of individuals. If you have holes you want to poke, do so on a story.
“This was proportionally targetted at women, Brenda especially. The CS was on point. He was upset about it and yes, people on social media need to be prosecuted for some of the things they say. People on social media have to be accountable. Brenda needs a lot of support. She could easily sink into depression. There is a possibility of the irony of surviving Covid-19 only for her to be affected by depression,” Okwara ranted.
Kagwe, while speaking outside Afya House during the daily updates presser condemned the act in the strongest terms possible urging Kenyans to shun the behaviour he claimed was unpalatable.
“I am deeply saddened that a section of Kenyans has taken to social media to make a mockery. Yesterday, I informed you about our two young people who have recovered from this deadly coronavirus disease. I condemn in strongest terms anyone who dared to do so. I appeal to security agencies to arrest social media users. It is wrong and should not happen,” Kagwe lamented.
Kenyans, however, turned against Okwara, wondering why she would initiate a gender debate amid the fight against a pandemic. Others wondered why she never defended men who were also attacked by netizens, only reportedly choosing sides when the Covid-19 victim was arrested.
“What an absolutely disappointing perspective especially coming from Yvonne Okwara. While a bunch of people took this too far, to call for their prosecution by a government that is actively executing its own citizens during a pandemic is a bridge way too far,” one netizen stated.
Others lauded Okwara for her courageous act, aligning themselves with Kagwe, and urging for the arrest of mockers.
“I support you, Yvonne, we witnessed very shameful acts. People need to be in someone’s shoes before they undertake horrible actions. I sympathize with the victims and they need counselling,” Millan Meshack responded.
Joe Ageyo and Jamila Mohamed reiterated Okwaras’ and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s stance, urging for precautionary measures to be taken by Kenyans.
“I got the sense that whatever was going on online yesterday, we forgot that we had a pandemic we were facing. I witnessed horrible and trivial stuff. There is still something to be said about our culture online and how we need to approach different issues, ” Joe Ageyo responded.
“Our only interest with them was that they were patients who recovered and their private lives are not our concern. This is something we have not witnessed before. We should focus on jobs that have been lost and children who have been forced to stay at home,” Jamila Mohamed added.
Francis Gachuri, later on, recalled how CS Mutaghi Kagwe had earned the trust of the nation, after taking the oath of office. However, the presenter pointed out that his good work may vanish and be tarnished in case he did not hatch a way to manage out of the blue situations.
“What happened yesterday is a setback for the CS. In future, he should have a focused line of communication. People are interested in knowing what it takes to recover. That’s one of the issues they should have patients speak about. Because, right now people are at home and they are scrutinising everything. Any doubt at this point does not work for the government. Kagwe has earned support and trust of the people. He should have a focused way of managing these situations,” Francis Gachuri advised.
Video above: Citizen TV
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