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Fake graphic – Kenyan president William Ruto didn't ask civil servants to give up their November 2023 salary as tax

IN SHORT: Fake news graphics are becoming common on Kenyan social media. A graphic supposedly quoting president William Ruto about the pay of public servants is fabricated.

A graphic circulating on social media in October 2023 attributes a startling quote about civil servants’ pay to Kenya's president William Ruto.

The graphic, dated 27 October, reads: “I am asking all public and civil servants, to allow me to use the November salary as tax. We use that money to boost our economy.”

It also has Ruto's picture as well as a branding on the top right corner, making it look like it was published by the popular Kenyan news website.

Since taking office, Ruto has embarked on a major and at times unpopular drive to raise taxes. Many Kenyans have been unhappy with the tax increases, although Ruto has justified them as the only way to reduce borrowing for a government struggling with high public debt.

Claims on social media that Ruto wants to take the entire November 2023 salary of civil servants have gained traction. The graphic was published here, here, here, here and here. But is it legit?


Graphic and quote are fake

Africa Check searched Google for the quote attributed to Ruto and came up empty. Such a statement would be widely reported in Kenya as taxation is a much-debated topic in the country.

The graphic also doesn’t appear on’s website, Facebook or X pages, where it posts its latest news.

On 31 October, the site posted the graphic – stamped “FAKE” – on its official X account, warning readers.

“This post did not emanate from our media house. We flag it as FAKE. For official communication from, always visit the official website and verified social media pages,” the news agency wrote.

The graphic has been fabricated.

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