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Who got duped in Naivasha robbery story, Nation or Standard?

The Standard and the Daily Nation weeks ago told two strikingly similar stories of a roadside robbery in Naivasha by a single woman.

Both papers said the woman drove off in a man’s car with a stack of cash in it, leaving the man stranded.

Important facts, however, were as different as day and night.

The Standard’s heading said: “Woman speeds off with man’s car while he was relieving himself in bush.”

On the other hand, the Nation’s heading said, “Woman drives off with lover’s car, Sh700, 000 after Naivasha night-out.”

According to Standard’s June 14 story by Anthony Gitonga, the man, 68, was from Narok and he buys and sells land. The “youthful young woman” had posed as a buyer.

The two had met “at Mai Mahiu” to finalise a land transaction.

Then, the story said, the woman convinced the man to spend the night “with her” in Naivasha instead of him driving 90km to Narok.

Naivasha was only 37km away (this is our interpretation).

“The man agreed, and due to his poor night vision, he allowed the woman to drive,” the story said.

Well, along the way the man stepped out to “relieve himself” in a “thicket.” And the woman sped off, with Sh7,000 and his personal items in the car.

Naivasha police confirmed the story, The Standard said.

The Nation published a similar story the same day, with a decisive angle:

“Police are trailing a woman who drove off with her lover’s car after the two came for a blissful moment at the lakeside town of Naivasha,” the intro said.

Bam! Nothing to be shy about the couple’s business, the Nation had decided.

Similarities? Both stories ran on the same day, June 14. Both concurred that the man sold land. Both said the woman vanished with the man’s car. Both mentioned the same towns, Narok and Naivasha.

However, the story had subtle, but suspicious differences.

First, The Standard said the man lost Sh7,000. The Nation said the man lost Sh700,000. The common digit is “seven.” One paper must have got it wrong.

Second, Standard said they were enroute to Naivasha. The Nation was certain the couple had made it to Naivasha town.

Third, the police “confirmed” Standard’s account that the man was left stranded at the roadside. The Nation’s story said the couple arrived Saturday in Naivasha from Narok and “went on a merrymaking spree”, “ before the woman vanished Sunday”, “according to police records.”

Wait. By a show of hands, how many would expect an Occurrence Book (OB) at a police station to record that a couple “went on a merrymaking spree” (paragraph 2)? Or that “he had hoped to spend ‘quality time’ with the woman” (paragraph 6)?

The Nation’s story called the couple “lovers” five times. The Oxford dictionary defines lover as “a partner in a sexual relationship outside marriage.”

How did the Nation establish that two people, who evidently met this one weekend, were “lovers”? Or who told the Nation that these two were lovers, the police? And the Nation just parroted the innuendo?

More importantly, it is evident that these two accounts were about the same incident. One paper either got the facts wrong or got duped.

Question is, who got duped?

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