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Daughter of Kenya’s deputy president inspecting weapons with arms deal accused? No, photo doctored

Rashid Echesa, Kenya’s former sports minister, was arrested on 13 February 2020 and charged for an alleged fake KSh40 billion arms tender, according to a Daily Nation report.

On 17 February an image that seems to show Echesa with June Ruto, the daughter of Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto, was posted on Facebook

The two are standing behind a drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The image is captioned: “RUTO CANT ESCAPE THIS TIME. June Ruto and Rashid Echesa inspecting the drones in Poland. You ain't seen nothing yet., NEXT IT'S Her FATHER.”

It was also shared on the website Kenyan Report, which calls itself the “#1 Diaspora Media House”, and on Kenyan Report’s Facebook page. The image also appears on a popular Kenyan political group on Facebook.

Echesa was released on bail on 17 February. But revelations that he visited the Office of the Deputy President have drawn Ruto and his daughter into the scandal. Ruto has dismissed the reports.

There have been many media reports that June Ruto works for the foreign affairs ministry as an envoy to Poland, although her exact position is unclear.

But does the image really show June Ruto inspecting weapons with Echesa? We checked.

Pair not in original photo

Africa Check used an online application to flip the image horizontally. We then did a reverse image search. This quickly led to the original photo, on a Polish website. It shows a Polish-made drone, the “Warmate 2”, which is manufactured by a Polish company, the WB Group

It was in a slideshow of photos from the 26th MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition, held in Kielce, Poland, in 2018. 

Echesa and Ruto are not in the original photo.

We looked through the photos on Echesa’s Facebook page and found a similar photo of the former minister, posted on 29 August 2018. Echesa’s posture and facial expression in both photos match exactly. His shirt is blue, not white, but this could easily be changed using photo manipulation software. 

The background suggests the photo was taken at the minister’s office in Nairobi when he was still in office, and not in Kielce. – Dancan Bwire


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