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Stingy men did not mourn Magufuli on fake ‘Star’

By Lucy Mwangi and Jacob Nyongesa

  1. A social media post with an image purportedly of the front page of The Standard newspaper March 20, 2021 edition, and with a cover story claiming that Deputy President William Ruto scolded his political allies over the Machakos senatorial by-political race, is fake. The author of the post shared the image with a caption that reads, “‘If you can’t demonstrate your value to my political goal, ship out. Machakos by election was a TOTAL FAILURE’ ~ DP Ruto to UDA Muthama and Co.” This comes after the United Democratic Alliance party’s candidate, Urbanas Ngengele, lost to Agnes Kavindu of Wiper Democratic Movement in the Machakos senatorial by-election held on March 18, 2021. However, a quick check of the legitimate front page shows that the lead story and photo have been altered, while the other stories on the page are the same as those on the cover of the genuine publication.

2. An image shared on Facebook as the front page of The Star, with a lead story about the ‘Stingy Men Association of Kenya’ (SMAK) mourning Tanzania’s late president John Magufuli, is fake. The image of the paper, dated March 22, 2021, additionally has a headshot of President Magufuli alongside the logo of ‘Stingy Men Association of Kenya’ and a quote by a Mr Okumu, whose first name is spelt ‘Ronald’ in this second instance rather than ‘Rhonald’ used earlier. The death of President Magufuli was announced on March 17, 2021 by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan. A scrutiny of the image with the SMAK statement has a number of inconsistencies, showing that it was doctored. The lead story on the legitimate front page reports the revelation by the Controller of Budget that the government of Kenya borrowed Sh3.37 billion daily in 2020. The caption at the bottom of the page correctly describes the main cover photo that shows President Kenyatta arriving at Karen Country Club and the subheading indicates the page where readers can find the full story.

3. On Friday, March 26, 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced cessation of all movement into and out of five counties: Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru, said to be disease-infected areas, effective midnight. A photo appeared online indicating that a section of a Kisumu estate was been put under lockdown. The misleading caption had the NTV news logo with the breaking news tag. During the address there was no mention of parts of Kisumu being put on lockdown. NTV on their official twitter handle notified the public that the image circulating online was fake.

4. The post shared online with Nation.Africa card with alleged comments from ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna is fake. The post shared on March 25 was widely shared on social media platforms. Africa on their Twitter handle would later discredit the claims as fake, urging the online users not to fall for such misleading information.

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