Oscar Kipchumba Sudi represents the Kapseret constituency in Uasin Gishu county, northwest of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Four posts published between 18 and 24 September 2020 all make almost identical claims, asking users to “WhatsApp my secretary Elijah” to receive one of the motorbikes on offer “to youth in every county to help boost their economy during this pandemic”
The posts include photos of rows of motorbikes and of Sudi seated on a bike.
These are all generous offers from an MP. Africa Check has debunked a similar page using the name of a Kenyan politician, exposing it as a scam.
We took a closer look.
Impostor Facebook page
The Facebook page in question was only created on 18 September. From 18 to 24 September it posted six times, with four of the posts advertising the motorbike giveaway. The page only has 326 followers.
This seems suspicious for the public profile of a local politician, who one could assume would have more supporters and other concerns to communicate to them.
The page is also not verified – it doesn’t show the blue tick which would prove that Facebook had confirmed the page really belongs to Sudi. Not all profiles of public figures are verified, but it’s a good idea to check if a verified profile exists.
When we searched for other Facebook pages under the name “Oscar Kipchumba Sudi” we didn’t find a verified page, but we did find a page which describes itself as the “Official Facebook page for Hon Oscar Kipchumba Sudi, Mp Kapseret Constituency”.
This page, “Oscar Kipchumba Sudi”, was created in December 2018 and has over 175,000 followers. It also has a short handle, @honsudi, unlike the long string of the possibly fake account.
Africa Check asked Sudi’s aide Elijah Kiplagat whether this was the MP’s official Facebook page, and he confirmed it was.
There is no mention of any motorbike giveaways on Sudi’s official page and no mention of “secretary Elijah”.
Kiplagat also confirmed to us that the Facebook page posting about motorbike giveaways is not connected to Sudi and is trying to scam people.
Any posts claiming Sudi – or other individual Kenyan politicians – are giving away motorbikes should be ignored. To learn how to spot Facebook scams, read our detailed guide. – Grace Gichuhi
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