kenicKenic – the country’s registrar for .co.ke domain names, has been running promotions on various media urging Kenyans to register domains. Yesterday however, they shot themselves in the leg after deleting a domain name critical of the government.

It started when questions were asked about President Uhuru’s frequent trips out of the country. A guy by the name Brian Maiyo registered the domain name ‘Isuhuruinkenya.co.ke’ on Friday (Uhuru in Kenya .co.ke)

It had nothing much, only a simple YES or NO. By the time of its creation, it displayed NO, but changed that to YES when the president jetted back in.

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For all intents and purposes, that’s a fairly harmless website mostly meant for satire.

However, someone in State House or in a high government office was not entirely pleased, and reportedly had KENIC de-register the domain name.

Brian, its creator, took to Twitter yesterday to announce that it had been shut down and that he has been asked to go collect a ‘letter’.

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It was actually getting quite some hits.

The biggest lesson from all this is that if you are in a business that can easily offend government, DO NOT get a .ke domain name. In fact, it’s safer to keep away no matter your business.

Opt for a .com name, and make sure you register it with a big foreign company and not a local registrar.

That answers the many queries we receive on why we are Nairobiwire.com and not Nairobiwire.co.ke.

But above all, we should not be discussing such freedoms in this day and age. The guys running State House communication are quite young and tech savvy, and should stop acting like we’re in the 90s.

And finally, the government should learn to take criticism for a change. There’s a constant misguided belief that anyone criticising it is working for the opposition and is out to bring the government down. Most Kenyans/bloggers are just concerned taxpayers on no-one’s payroll.

UPDATE: Last evening on Twitter, Kenic denied taking down the domain, insisting that it is still active. However, at the time of this writing, the domain is still not active.

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