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FACT-CHECK: Intrigues of Debra the Zebra

A section of online users flooded social media with false information that actress Wanjiku Mburu, popularly known as Mama Baha, haddied after battling cancer.

Blogs and twitter enthusiasts were quick to share the information on their platforms even without verifying the authenticity of the news

I am well. The blogs should at least call people to confirm before spreading false reports. It is true someone died but it is not me. I am not happy with the false reports and people using my photos. My heart goes out to Mburu Kimani and his family for the loss of their loved one. My fans should know I am alive and let us keep doing our work” – Source Tuko News

Her alleged death was fueled by news of the death of Machachari’s (a local TV production) director of photography, Mburu Kimani’s wife, Pamela Wanjiru.

2. The tragedy that happened in Mombasa’s Likoni a week ago was unfortunate. However, there have been twists and turns and remarkable intrigues online as the authorities undertake recovery and retrieval of those who perished.

Online reports shared on twitter and WhatsApp indicated that the Kenya Ferry Services managing director had resigned after a section of online users were unhappy about the comments shared on the twitter handle of the KFS a day after the tragedy.

“Kenya Ferry Services managing director Bakari Gowa resigns after making remarks deemed offensive to woman and child killed in Likoni Ferry mishap,” read a post from Getit411- CapitalFm online platform.

Fact: The MD did not resign as claimed. The post was later deleted.

3. On September 17, a rare polka-dotted zebra foal was spotted in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Photographer Frank Liu captured a video of the foal, which has the unusual markings from a genetic mutation called pseudomelanism.

A few weeks later a post appeared online claiming that the foal and its mother were being transported to a zoo.


The rare zebra foal that was born with polka dots instead of stripes, christened Debra by netizens, was spotted photographed at the back of what looks like a lorry on transit. Sections of Kenyans online accused the KWS of selling the zebra and her mother to foreigners”, read part of the claims.

Fact: The zebra only crossed from Maasai Mara to Serengeti National Park and was not sold or taken to a zoo as claimed.

4. A video appeared online with claims that Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu had issued a warning to camel owners from a neighbouring county to vacate or they would be killed. The video was shared at a time when reports indicated that the two neighboring communities are fighting over grazing land. The potential of such a video to fuel the crisis further is very high.

Fact: Further check on the video indicates that it was shared a year ago and not recently.

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