A Kenyan official has warned the public not to spread unverified rumours of impending attacks around the country through text messaging and social media.
The frequent terrorist blast in and around Nairobi and Mombasa has seen many messages on social media warning members of the public not to visit various areas including shopping malls and highly populated areas.
Most of the messages have unverified sources but have gone viral in Kenya.
Speaking to the media Mombasa county commissioner, Nelson Marwa warned that they will arrest those who are spreading the alarming text messages.
“Fear among wanainchi (citizens) can cripple the entire economy and we don’t want to allow that. And this is a criminal who is doing this,” Marwa said.
“I don’t think any security officer can circulate such a message. And if there is, action will be taken against them,” county police commander in Mombasa, Robert Kitur added.
In early April one of the biggest supermarkets in Kenya, Nakumatt warned of text messages and social media messages that had gone viral and painted its business as the target for the next terrorist attack.
Nakumatt was one of the scenes in the September 2013 WestGage Mall siege.
“We also wish to request all mobile subscribers to exercise personal responsibility when sharing text and related social media messages to avoid causing unnecessary panic. Ideally, such messages should, also be shared with the relevant security agencies to facilitate proper management,” Nakumatt said in a statement in April.
Kenya has been on the receiving end of blasts claimed to be from the terrorist group, Al Shabaab since the military launched an offensive against the terrorist group in Somalia in 2011.