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European Union denounces fake statement on Laikipia violence

By Lucy Mwangi and Jacob Nyongesa

1. A statement purportedly issued by Henriette Geiger, the European Union ambassador to Kenya, and circulated online regarding bandit attacks in Laikipia County is fake. According to the statement allegedly issued by Ms Geiger on September 8, the EU is closely monitoring developments in Laikipia and is convinced that immediate action is required to end the conflict. In a tweet on September 9, Geiger stated that the delegation did not issue such a statement and referred to it as fake.

2. A video that emerged online showing police officers in Laikipia is fake and misleading. In the video, officers in GSU uniform can be seen holding their guns, moving to the direction where gunshots can be heard, and later crawling on the ground. This follows the launch of a security operation in Laikipia on September 7. On September 10, the Observer contacted the Kenya Police Service, and they refuted claims that GSU officers had been sent to Laikipia to fight bandits. They pointed out that the video being shared was taken during a drill involving officers.

3. An image on Twitter purporting to show that a cow donated by ODM leader Raila in Githunguri died is fake. On September 4, Odinga made a surprise appearance at a college student’s birthday party in Githunguri, Kiambu County. A Google reverse image search revealed that the image of the cow was used in an article on the Times of India on August 1, 2017, when a dead cow was discovered lying on the road in Geeta Colony behind the police station in New Delhi.

4. A statement shared on Facebook attributed to Chama Cha Mashinani party leader Isaac Ruto about the party folding is fake. The statement, which went viral on social media on Tuesday, September 7, drew sharp reactions. On further scrutiny the statement was not mentioned on the CCM party leader’s Twitter timeline, as would be expected for such a crucial political development. There is no reference to time, place or event in any of the posts on the subject to back up the statement, as is customary in journalism to support their authenticity.

5. A Facebook post by Kenya News Online claiming that the IEBC is working with the Hustler Nation is fake and misleading. The Observer discovered the alleged post on the commission’s Facebook account on September 7 was dismissed as a fake story. In the tweet they indicated that they reported the YouTube account to the appropriate authorities for action.

6. An image on Twitter purporting to show Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua fighting is fake. The image’s caption, which has gone viral on social media, reads, “Rigathi Gachagua exchanging blows with Gikaria in Nanyuki. Meeting cut short. A Google reverse image search reveals a video uploaded by Citizen TV’s YouTube channel on March 11, 2015, when Nakuru MCAs publicly exchanged fists after the then Visoi MCA Gitau Kamau claimed Kihika was using county assembly resources to fund county representatives allied to Nakuru majority leader Samuel Waithuki.

7. A statement purportedly issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority that made rounds on social media claiming that Deputy President William Ruto has never paid taxes is fake. In response to the fake tweet, KRA issued a statement on Friday, September 3, dismissing reports that it had summoned Ruto, terming the statement fake.

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