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Ugandan opposition party wins youth vote by landslide? No, headline fake

An image shared on Facebook appears to show the front page of Ugandan newspaper New Vision, with the headline: “BOBIWINE’S NUP WINS YOUTH POLLS WITH 96%”.

The summary below reads: “NRM SHATTERED AS 100’S OF ITS MEMBERS DEFLECT TO BOBIWINE’S NUP PARTY.”

The page also shows a photo of Ugandan opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine.

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, shows the page has been shared dozens of times and has attracted hundreds of reactions.

New Vision is published by Vision Group, a media house in which the Ugandan government owns a majority

Wine is the leader of the National Unity Platform and a presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections scheduled for early 2021. He is challenging president Yoweri Museveni, flag bearer of the ruling National Resistance Movement.

With elections around the corner, in a country with a relatively restricted media environment, would a government-owned newspaper splash good news for the opposition, and bad news for its owners, on its front page? 

We checked. 



Clues front page doctored


The front page shared on Facebook has grammatical errors, misspells Bobi Wine as “Bobiwine” and uses “deflect” instead of “defect”. 

The font size is also not proportional to the newspaper’s usual headlines, but appears small and squeezed. 

These are all signs that the page was digitally manipulated, like a number of other photoshopped front pages Africa Check has debunked. 

And the headline claims that NUP won the youth polls with 96%. But we could find no other trustworthy reports of such results. 

NRM wins youth polls


The fake front page is dated 20 August 2020. On the same page, New Vision shared the front page of the day’s newspaper on their official Facebook page. 

And the real headline is more in keeping with what you would expect from a government-backed newspaper. It reads: “NRM WINS YOUTH POLLS WITH 79%.” – Grace Gichuhi




 

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