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Ignore altered newspaper – Kenyan deputy president Ruto hasn’t announced running mate

An image of what appears to be the front page of the Star newspaper has become an instant hit on Kenya’s social media platforms.

The 1 March 2021 headline on the front page reads: “It's Kiunjuri for Ruto’s running mate.”

The summary below the headline is: “As part of his larger strategy of netting the vote-rich Mt Kenya block, the deputy president has settled for the former agriculture CS as his second in command in his 2022 State House bid.”

A photo of Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, with former agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri is featured on the cover page.

Ruto has declared his intention to run for president in Kenya’s next general election, slated for August 2022. Kiunjuri is a close ally of Ruto and has been reported to be eyeing the position of president.

Africa Check has counted at least 95 different posts of the front page image, shared by different social media users.

But was this really the front page of the Star newspaper on 1 March 2021?

Newspaper

No announcement from Ruto, fake front page

The deputy president is an active social media user and posts about his political movements on his verified Facebook and Twitter pages. But he has not announced his running mate for the elections.

The Star newspaper usually publishes digital front pages on its social media accounts. But the one published for 1 March is different from the one attracting political debate.

The headline reads: “Proposed: Tough new law to ban pornography.” 

Two photos on the front page show crowds at political rallies by Ruto and his political rival, former prime minister Raila Odinga.

The newspaper has also tweeted images of the authentic and fake versions of the front page from 1 March. It stamped the manipulated front page as “fake”.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

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