Dennis Itumbi, Director of Digital Communications for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Monday sent out a tweet with the hashtag #NorwaySupportsTerror, suggesting that Norway’s continued funding for Haki Africa, a Mombasa charity recently blacklisted by the Kenyan government, amounted to supporting terror groups.
The tweet came after Norway’s ambassador Victor Rønneberg said that the country would not funding the NGO in an interview with the Nation newspaper.
“We support the organisations because of their valuable contribution to the realization of human rights on the Kenyan coast and for their important contribution to countering violent extremism,” he said. “Norway supports Haki Africa together with the USA and UK and have carried out due diligence on the organisation.”
Shortly after Itumbi’s tweet, @StateHouseKenya, the official Twitter account of the country’s Presidential administration also criticised Norway using the hashtag #NorwaySupportsTerror
, although the tweet was later deleted.
Itumbi, who was a blogger and social media personality before being hired by Kenyatta in 2013, has been criticised in Kenya for the tweet, which has been seen as undiplomatic and unprofessional.
However, on Monday evening he defended his decision, arguing that the ambassador should not have responded to the request that it stop funding the organisation through the media.
Late on Monday night, he followed up his attack on Norway, tweeting an article from 2014 about Norwegian artists' plans to recreate a “human zoo” of an African village for Norway’s bicentenary celebrations.