NBK: Board PR vs. Blog

The month of March has seen quite a bit of online activity at National Bank of Kenya (NBK).

On one side has been the public relations for the bank, of which I get the releases. Yesterday (March 28) the bank sent one, full of caution, urging their customers to ignore, a blog. I wasn’t aware of any, so I searched and found this blog story (by  ) with the headline that the National Bank Board Sacks Munir Ahmed (the CEO of the bank).  

At the beginning of the month (March 1) , the bank had issued another press release with a warning, and a threat to sue a  blogger. The bank also said it had written to the  Central Bank of Kenya Governor and the Cabinet Secretary (a.k.a. Minister) in charge of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) about defamation of banks emanating from unregulated blogging.

The Bank requests members of the public and media to disregard any malicious stories spread by ill-intentioned persons on social media or otherwise about the bank who will soon face the full wrath of the law. 

Immediately after that, the Bloggers Association of Kenya reacted strongly against blanket condemnation of bloggers. in a statement that noted that blogger are regulated by a code of ethics, and that (i)  bloggers could be international (i.e. beyond the jurisdiction of Kenya), and that (ii) NBK should consider charging the said blogger for defamation, which is legislated in law.

Today, the bank sent a press release that indeed, the Board of National Bank has announced that the Bank’s CEO  and five top managers have been sent on compulsory leave pending an internal audit process.   

The Central Bank of Kenya, then released its own statement, welcoming the decisions of the board.

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