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No, Kenyan senator didn’t fly presidential jet to Malawian president’s inauguration

A post on Facebook claims a Kenyan senator flew on the “presidential jet” to the inauguration of Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera.

“Gideon Moi landed in Malawi using Presidential jet,” it reads. 

It shows a photo of Gideon Moi, senator for Baringo county in western Kenya, standing in front of an aircraft with a small group of people, all wearing face masks.

But does the photo show the Kenyan presidential jet, and was the jet used to fly Moi to the presidential inauguration in Malawi? We checked.



Moi attended inauguration ceremony


A reverse image search led us to Moi’s Facebook page, where the photo was originally published on 6 July 2020. 

(Note: Although the senator’s Facebook page is not verified, his spokesperson has previously confirmed to Africa Check that the page is his.) 

Along with the photo and others from the same day, the senator posted that he and Ababu Namwamba, the chief administrative secretary in Kenya’s foreign ministry, travelled to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, “to represent President Uhuru Kenyatta in the inauguration ceremony of HE Lazarus Chakwera”.

Chakwera’s inauguration was held on 6 July. 

Kenya’s foreign ministry also tweeted similar photos.

“Hon Senator Gideon Moi is in Malawi leading the Kenyan delegation to the inauguration ceremony of HE Lazarus Chakwera, the newly elected President of Malawi. Hon Gideon Moi is accompanied by Hon Ababu Namwamba @ForeignOfficeKE CAS,” the ministry said.

Military aircraft, but not presidential jet


Africa Check reached out to the Kenyan Ministry of Defence and the Kenya Air Force to confirm the details of the aircraft in the photo.

Military spokesperson Zipporah Kioko confirmed that Moi and Namwamba were on a presidential mission and that the plane was from the Kenya Air Force. 

“They had been tasked by the head of state and it was our aircraft,” Kioko said, but added that “the aircraft is not a jet”.

Kenya’s presidential jet is a Fokker 70ER with the words “Republic of Kenya” on the side, as seen in this 2017 video. It is much larger than the aircraft in the photos shared on Facebook. – Vincent Ng’ethe




 

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