Politicians and those they follow…on Twitter


IwontYou are only as good as the company you keep, so the saying goes. And we can take it further and add that you’re as good as the stuff you read or in this era of social media, you’re defined by who you follow on Twitter.

So, zeroing in on the Twitter bit, I decided to check and see who the global “who-is-who” follows on Twitter, for to be followed by a world-renowned entrepreneur or businesses person, politician, innovator or any kind of celebrity is a mark of approval: that they value your opinion, and want to keep tabs on its by following your handle.

I then started looking at tech innovators and stumbled upon Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s handle –@MarkZuckerbergF. Since joining the social site in 2010, Zuckerberg has only found 3 accounts worth following, that’s Facebook Developers (@fbplatform); Noticias sobre FB (@FB_noticias) and and Facebook’s official account – @facebook. Within this time, the Facebook founder has attracted massed 61,500 followers despite only sending 5 tweets.

His most memeorable tweet – sent on October 16, 2010 – was: “Hello Twitter-Land, as well as tweeting on twitter, Don’t forget to Friend Up with your friends on Facebook !!” It received over 100 retweets.

Then I came down to our politicians, and started checking the people they follow on Twitter, just to gauge the kind of people whose opinions they respect or listen to.

So here goes our selection of the country’s top political leaders and the people they follow on Twitter:

@UKenyatta: Many people believe the account is not handled by the President personally but by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU). However, the 96 people the PSCU team has decided to follow is an important pointer. Among these are other heads of state, heads of UN bodies and other global organizations, local politicians as well as other government agencies. Apart from local politicians, the President follows a number of journalists including Dennis Okari (@DennisOkari), Emmanuel Juma (@EmmanuelJuma1), Peter Opondo (@PeterOpondo), Anita Nderu (@AnitaNderu), Francis Gachuri (@Fchurii), Cynthia Nyamai (@CynthiaNyamai), Evelyn Wambui (@EvelynWambui), Ramah Nyang (@Ramah_Nyang), Terryanne Chebet (@TerryanneChebet) and John-Allan Namu (@johnallannamu) among others.

@WilliamSRuto: The Deputy President, just like the President, doesn’t follow people liberally, going by the total number of accounts followed currently at 76. Just like the President, he also follows a number of heads of government and global organizations as well as local political leaders. However, unlike the President, the DP follows more news organisations’ Twitter accounts than individual journalists. These include The Star, Kenya (@TheStarKenya), K24 TV (@K24Tv), KTN (@KTNKenya), NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya), Citizen TV News (@CitizenTVNews) and KBCChannel1 (@KBCChannel1).

@RailaOdinga: The former PM is more liberal when it comes to following accounts on Twitter, going by the total number of those followed which currently stands at 141. The account follows people in both Government and Opposition, most notable among this being the Deputy President William Samoei Ruto (@WilliamsRuto), Najib Balala (@tunajibu) and Sakaja Johnson *245# (@SakajaJohnson).

@Justinmuturi: The Speaker of the National Assembly’s Twitter handle is the most interesting- despite having 255 followers, he follows only one account (@NelsonMandela) and is yet to post any tweet

@MutahiNgunyi: He makes this list not because he’s a politician but because of his controversial political opinions. Despite being among the most followed accounts in Kenya, he only follows 3 others people, all journalists – that is John-Allan Namu (@johnallannamu), Asha Mwilu (@ashamwilu) and Jeff Koinange MBS (@KoinangeJeff).