Debunked: The fake photos, video that popped up on week two of protests

fake news fact black

As protests intensified, so did the number of photos and videos posted out of context. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • This week, we debunk three instances of false claims that were made on social media. 

On week two of Azimio protests, the internet and social media were flooded with images of demonstrators and opposition leaders. But as the protests intensified, so did the number of photos and videos posted out of context or out rightly false. 

This week, we debunk three instances of false claims that were made on social media. 

Claim 1: Raila travelled to Northlands via chopper

The 11,576 acres Northlands estate in Ruiru, which belongs to the family of Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta, was on Monday raided by hired goons who stole about 1,500 sheep, cut down trees and “demarcated” parts of the land among themselves.

The following day, a photo began to circulate on Twitter purporting that Azimio leader Raila Odinga had landed on the Northlands farm on a helicopter to assess the damage. Here’s one such tweet from a user going by @fred_fredrik.

However, the photo was misleading. A Nation.Africa reporter who was at the Northlands farm on Tuesday when the opposition leader arrived confirmed that he came in a convoy of cars and not via helicopter as seen in the photo.

Azimio leaders at Northlands City

Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga accompanied by Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka, Jerimiah Kioni, Eugene Wamalwa and George Wajackoyah when they visited the Kenyatta family-owned Northlands City farm which was raided by goons on March 28, 2023. 

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

A video from NTV confirms the same.

Raila Odinga points at opponents as ring leaders of Northlands attack

Claim 2: Raila was in Mombasa during Azimio protests 

A user going by @MDD_KENYA posted two photos bearing images of the opposition leader while claiming that he was at the coast on Monday on the day of Azimio protests. 

Another user going by @WanjiruNdagita made the same claim.

As most people already know by now, Mr Odinga was in Nairobi on Monday March 27 and had led the protests. Additionally, an image reverse search on Google established that the photos were first posted online on January 6, 2023 after a meeting with Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir. Here is a Nation.Africa story on the visit that was published on January 8, 2023.

According to the article, this was Mr Odinga’s first political tour of Mombasa in 2023. Here are Mr Nassir’s images from the same visit as posted on his Facebook page.

The second image was first posted on Mr Odinga’s Facebook page on June 10, 2017.

3. TikTok video on attack of Nation journalist

This week was bad for Kenyan journalists covering protests: A police officer fired a tear gas canister at NTV cameraman Eric Isinta's face and wounded him on Thursday while Standard journalist Timon Abuna was also wounded in the head. Reporters were also attacked by goons and police on Monday while covering protests in Kibra. 

But while all this is true, a video posted by @malengetv that recently went viral on TikTok purported to show the attack of an NTV journalist during the Azimio protests is mis-dated.

The clip depicting the attack on NTV cameraman Peter Wainaina at the hands of police is real, but it did not happen this week. It occurred in March 2020. Mr Wainaina was covering the curfew that had been imposed by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic. 


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