IN SHORT: As Kenyans grapple with disruptive protests, a Facebook page has been making inflammatory statements in the name of Raila Odinga. It is not the opposition leader's official page.
The Facebook page “Raila Amollo Odinga” has been publishing what appear to be posts showing the engagements and whereabouts of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The latest post, on 29 March, reads: “This struggle will continue, stronger and mightier with each vile response, until our demands are met.”
It lists these demands as reducing the cost of goods and investigating electoral malpractice.
It is not clear who “with his every vile response” is referring to, but it is most likely Kenyan president William Ruto, as the post ends with the sentence “We have won against Ruto and his violence before. We will win against Ruto's violence again”.
Odinga has been leading protests since 20 March against the high cost of living and the results of the August 2022 general election, in which he lost to Ruto, among other grievances.
But chaos, vandalism and clashes with the police have marred the protests.
Another post reads: “I will be on the frontline, IG Koome , don’t send junior officers , come and arrest me.”
This post was published a day after Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome threatened to arrest all protesters who carry weapons or cause chaos.
The Facebook page was created in 2016. Its cover and profile pictures show Odinga apparently giving a public speech.
But given the incendiary comments often made, is it really Odinga's?
Ignore imposter Facebook page
For an account belonging to a major politician, the page has only 680 followers.
In the page transparency section, we found that the page “Raila Amollo Odinga” was created on 20 August 2016 under the name Austin Juma.
On 1 July 2022, the page’s name changed to “Hilary Itela”. On 25 March 2023, it was renamed to the current “Raila Amollo Odinga”.
The contact email on the page is still “[email protected]”.
The page name also misspells Odinga’s middle name as “Amollo” rather than “Amolo”.
The opposition leader’s official Facebook page is called “Raila Odinga” and is verified. The page has 1.8 million followers and was created on 6 November 2012.
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