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MP Mishra hasn’t withdrawn scholarships, and Ngugi is fit as a fiddle

By Lucy Mwangi and Jacob Nyukuri

1.  A Facebook post claiming former Kesses MP Swarup Mishra has withdrawn scholarships for 300 students from is false. According to the post shared on August 19, Mishra is also planning to collect cows and motorcycles he donated to constituents. However, on August 19, the outgoing Kesses MP urged everyone to disregard the reports. He said the programmes are on track.

2. A Twitter post shared by CBS News, a news streaming network based in New York, claiming protests were taking place in Kenya was misleading. According to the tweet posted on August 15, violence erupted with accusations of election rigging after President-elect William Ruto was declared the winner by IEBC on August 15. Except for the celebrations of Ruto’s presidential victory, no areas were reported to have experienced protests or violence after the presidential results were announced. We communicated with election observers, who confirmed that business operations have returned to normal across the country.

3. A Facebook post shared on August 15 purporting to show an image of the situation in Eldoret town as Kenyans awaited results of the presidential election was fake. The Media Observer did a reverse image search and discovered the photo was taken in Eldoret and was first shared in an article by The Standard on October 12, 2019, when big screens were set up in the town to broadcast live Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge from Vienna, Austria. Massive crowds had gathered in Eldoret to watch the challenge.

4. On August 15, an image circulated on Twitter purporting to show increased security in Deputy President-elect Rigathi Gachagua’s hometown ahead of the announcement of presidential election results. However, through a reverse image search, we discovered an article published on August 11, 2017 by Diaspora Messenger, a Kenya diaspora news website, that shared the image of police escorting bikes as well as photos of leaders checking into Bomas of Kenya, the national tallying centre in Nairobi, before the IEBC announced the presidential election results of that year.

5. A tweet purportedly from Suna East MP Junet Mohammed to Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga advising him to abandon his ambition and accept that he was never meant to be president was misleading. The alleged message from Junet was created by Fake Tweet Creator Post, an app that can generate realistic-looking tweets in seconds, after Kenya’s electoral commission chair Wafula Chebukati announced Deputy President William Ruto’s victory on August 15, 2022. The Media Observer team looked through Junet’s official social media accounts and found no evidence of such a post.

6. A press release claiming to be from Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha regarding the reopening of all basic education institutions was fake. According to the statement dated August 10, 2022, the institutions would reopen on August 22, after the Ministry was informed that the process of tallying ballots would still be ongoing. We did, however, discover a post shared on August 13 on the ministry’s official Facebook page with an authentic press release stating the suspension of the reopening of all basic education institutions from August 15, 2022 to August 18, 2022. The Ministry also declared on August 17 on Facebook that the statement that schools would reopen on August 22 was false.

7. A newspaper item claiming newly elected Mt Kenya MPs, including Deputy President-elect Rigathi Gachagua, were barred from attending a two-hour meeting at President-elect Ruto’s Karen office was false. According to the item, which went viral on August 18, the leaders were kept waiting while Ruto met with a faction of Rift Valley MPs. We discovered images of Gachagua in attendance at the meeting in Karen, shared on Ruto’s official Twitter handle, which included some newly elected Mt Kenya politicians like Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and outgoing National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. On Wednesday, The Star newspaper, which publishes the segment “Corridors of Power,” flagged the piece as fake on its official Twitter handle.

8. An image shared on Twitter depicting unrest in Kenya in response to Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s call for mass protests was misleading. The image was first shared on August 18, 2017 in an article by Radiyoyacu VOA, Radio VOA, in Kinyarwanda, which after a translation shows that the demonstrations were held because the national team in charge of organizing the elections had not yet submitted all the votes cast from polling stations. We also discovered an article published on VOA Studio 7 on September 1, 2017, when the Supreme Court declared President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election victory invalid due to irregularities. The photo is unrelated to the 2022 Kenyan election.

9. On August 15, a video posted on Twitter purporting to show celebrations in Uganda following Deputy President William Ruto’s victory was misleading.  We found out that the video was shot on August 12, in Sebei, Uganda’s Eastern region, following the success of Ugandan marathoners at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and that it was first shared on Talent from Sebei Nation’s YouTube channel.

10. A tweet shared by Nandi Governor Stephen Sang on August 16,  with an image of Recce Squad, claiming that they had been restored to President-elect William Ruto’s Karen official residence, is false. The elite security team that guards Ruto’s official residence was withdrawn on August 27, 2021, and was replaced by Administration Police. However, there has been no official communication from the Inspector General of Police indicating that Ruto’s security detail has been restored. We conducted a reverse image search on the image and discovered that the photo is of the Kenyan paramilitary and was taken on September 2, 2014, during the African Peace and Security Council Summit on Terrorism at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.

11. Rumours that Kenya’s best-known writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o had died were misleading. The rumours of Thiong’o’s death began to circulate on social media on Monday, August 15 evening, prompting some public figures to take to their platforms to express their condolences to wa Thiong’o’s family. His children, Mukoma and Wanjiku wa Ngugi, took to social media to deny that the legendary novelist had died.

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