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Ruto pushing wheelbarrow on Mashujaa Day? No, photo of Kenyan deputy president doctored

A photo that seems to show Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto pushing a wheelbarrow is doing the rounds on Facebook. He is walking with three other people, with a helicopter behind them. 

In one post, the caption reads: “Hustler leader apewe wheelbarrow yake.” This is Kiswahili for: “Let the hustler leader have his wheelbarrow.” 

Ruto often uses the word “hustler” to identify himself with Kenya’s unemployed youth, and people who work in the informal economy.

The deputy president has defended giving out wheelbarrows during public rallies, saying they could change people’s lives for the better. But opposition leader Raila Odinga has dismissed the handouts, reportedly saying: “Wheelbarrows will not help our people.” 

In another post, the photo is captioned: “Hustler officially at Gusii stadium.”

The Gusii stadium sports venue in Kenya’s southwestern Kisii county is where the official national celebrations of Mashujaa Day were held in 2020. This public holiday, also known as Heroes’ Day, is observed on 20 October each year.

We checked if the deputy president arrived at this important national event pushing a wheelbarrow.

Reverse image search

A reverse image search reveals that there is no wheelbarrow in the original photo

Local radio station Emoo FM published a collection of photos on its verified Facebook page, showing Ruto’s arrival at the Mashujaa Day event. The wheelbarrow was photoshopped into the original photo. –Vincent Ng’ethe


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