Kenyans have turned to social media to revive the search for Bogonko Bosire, a Kenyan blogger who went missing nearly two years ago. Using the hashtag #WhereIsBogonkoBosire, Twitter users are speculating on the fate of the controversial author of the Jackal News, the tagline for which read: “We own the news and gossip. You are either the source or the target.”
A journalist who previously had covered East Africa for Agence France-Presse, Bosire rubbed powerful individuals in Kenya the wrong way with his blog, where he wrote about scandals involving celebrities and corruption in the corridors of power.
Prior to his disappearance, Bosire had been threatened multiple times and his website suffered at least one digital attack. He was last seen on September 18, 2013. His family says they have given up hope of finding him alive.
Bosire was known for his coverage of the International Criminal Court (ICC) case against president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, which focused on alleged government involvement in post-election violence in 2007-08. On October 8, 2014 Kenyatta became the first head of state to appear before the court. On 5 December 2014, the ICC withdrew the charges against the Kenyan president saying that the Kenyan government had refused to hand over evidence vital to the case.
Bosire was accused of exposing the identities of prosecution witnesses at the ICC and was considered an ally of president Uhuru Kenyatta because of the tone of his coverage.Since his disappearance, many rumors and conspiracy theories have circulated regarding what really happened to the blogger. Various rumors surrounding his fate have spread online. Some say he fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo. A few have even claimed that affiliates of the ICC have something to do with his disappearance.
Strangely, his Twitter account remained active for some time after his disappearance. Kenya Today's Moser Keror noted that Bosire disappearance will remain of one of the mysteries of Uhuru Kenyatta's administration.
#WhereIsBogonkoBosire trended for four hours on June 7, 2015. Cyprian noted that the Kenyan president has not made any public comment about his disappearance:
President Uhuru is yet to make any comment about Bogonko Bosire's disappearance. #WhereIsBogonkoBosire pic.twitter.com/8bXzCvKwvx
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@C_NyaKundiH) June 7, 2015
Kenya ni Kwetu acknowledged the blogger's intelligence:
Bogonko Bosire was an intelligent, talented — if not sometimes controversial journalist. #WhereIsBogonkoBosire
— Kenya ni Kwetu (@NotInKenya) June 7, 2015
Dean David Dean made reference to Nyayo House, where former president Daniel Arap Moi's regime kept torture chambers for government critics:
@C_NyaKundiH #WhereIsBogonkoBosire can some one check nyayo house it might be active you know kanu is in power right !
— dean david dean (@DAnachoni) June 7, 2015
Many noted the persisting intrigue surrounding his case:
I smell too much intrigues surrounding his mysterious disappearance that needs to be unearthed.#WhereIsBogonkoBosire
— Cornelius Motanya (@am_motanya) June 7, 2015
For now, his disappearance still remains a mystery.