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Photo shows Rwandan crowds, not ‘at least a million’ Kenyans supporting deputy president William Ruto

Kenyan deputy president William Ruto held a rally in Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu county in the west of the country on 8 January 2022. 

Ruto has declared he is running for president in the August general elections. The rally aimed to popularise his party, the United Democratic Alliance or UDA, and according to a photo shared on social media “millions” attended.

In one Facebook group with over a million members, the photo was posted with this caption: “Breaking News. Atleast 1,000,000 people have attended Dp Rutos Rally at Eldoret Sports Club. Dunia nzima imesema Ruto tosha. One Word for our 5th president.”

But does this photo show the crowd attending the January 2022 rally in Eldoret? We checked.

Crowd_False

Photo from Rwanda in 2017

A reverse image search of the photo led us to the hashtag #RwandaDecides. It was popular on Twitter in Rwanda in August 2017, when the country held a presidential election won by long-time president Paul Kagame

The photo was shared in August 2017 and shows a political rally in Rwanda.

A clearer version of the photo shows the red-white-and-blue flags associated with the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the country’s current ruling party. These colours are not the yellow, green and black associated with Ruto’s UDA

The news outlet New Times Rwanda published the photo on Twitter on 2 August 2017. Their article estimated half a million people attended the rally, attended by Kagame, and said it was a “record” crowd.

The photo shared on Facebook shows people at a Rwandan, not Kenyan, political rally.

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