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Beware Facebook page impersonating former Kenyan president Kenyatta

IN SHORT: The page uses Uhuru Kenyatta’s name and photos, and its posts attract thousands of responses. But it’s run by an imposter.

The Facebook page “Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta” uses the name and photos of Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta, who left office in September 2022 after serving two terms.

His successor, William Ruto, beat Kenyatta’s favoured presidential candidate Raila Odinga in elections held in August that year.

The account’s posts cover a range of contentious issues in Kenya. One, dated 2 February 2023, reads: “My Security Officers are now Withdrawn!” It appeared after media reports that Ruto’s government had scaled down Kenyatta’s security.

Another post, from 5 October 2022, criticises Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni for his decades-long hold on power. It reads: “Uganda should learn democracy from Kenya. For how long one president should attend many swearing in in one country?”

Museveni attended Ruto’s inauguration on 13 September 2022.

The account’s posts have attracted likes and comments in the thousands. But is it legit?


Signs of fake Facebook page

Kenyatta was president from 2013 to 2022. In 2019, he suspended his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

At the time, his chief of staff Nzioka Waita cited “unauthorised access” to the president’s social media accounts as the reason. All communication was from then on to be posted on the official State House social media pages, which have since been taken over by Ruto's government.

Local media have reported that the former president’s security has been reduced, but Kenyatta has not publicly commented on the issue. It’s unlikely that he’d only take to Facebook to protest.

Kenyatta maintained cordial ties with Museveni. Again, it would be unlikely for him to snipe at the Ugandan president, on Facebook, after he left office.

And the account’s posts are full of errors. For instance, when Kenyatta was about to hand over the presidency to Ruto, the Facebook page wrote “Thanks you Kenya. Fishing great” instead of “Thank you Kenya. Finishing great”. 

Kenyatta’s legit Facebook page

Kenyatta set up new social media accounts after the end of his presidency. The Facebook page “Office of the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya” and Twitter account “Office of the 4th President of Kenya” were established in November 2022.

He uses them to update his supporters about his international engagements and personal activities. Their posts are similar and consistent. 

Credible local media outlets have reported on Kenyatta’s new social media pages. But the Facebook page “Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta” and its suspicious posts have not been mentioned anywhere.

It’s an imposter page.

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