IN SHORT: As a land dispute rages in the Machakos county of Kenya, claims that a major TV station reported the governor as seeking protection from deputy president Rigathi Gachagua are false.
A graphic posted on a public Facebook group claims that governor of Kenya’s Machakos county, Wavinya Ndeti, sought the protection of the country’s deputy president after being accused of land grabbing.
Rigathi Gachagua is the number two to president William Ruto.
A quote on the graphic, placed below two separate small photos of Ndeti and Gachagua, reads: “SEEKING LAND GRABBING PROTECTION? ‘Kyumbi land grabber’s’ led by Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti meet DP Rigathi Gachagua weeks after Wavinya hired goons, invaded the 267 acre private prime land at Kyumbi.”
On 17 May 2023, Ndeti found herself in the middle of a riot over a disputed piece of land along the main Mombasa road near Kyumbi town. Mombasa road connects Nairobi to the main coastal city of Mombasa.
The governor had travelled to the area after learning that police were engaged in running battles with locals, including county leaders, protesting the invasion of land by private developers.
Ndeti criticised the confrontation, blaming it on a group she said had invaded the disputed land armed with weapons such as firearms.
According to her, the conflict was caused by “goons” attacking defenceless bystanders. Some publications have in turn claimed the governor hired the group to attack and intimidate private landowners.
The graphic, posted on 8 June 2023, features the logo of NTV Kenya. But did the local station report this?
Graphic is fake
NTV Kenya dismissed the graphic as fake on its official Facebook account.
It posted the graphic with the word “fake” stamped on it.
“Beware of fake news! If it is not on our official social media pages, it is fake,” the broadcaster wrote.
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