IN SHORT: George Wajackoyah, the colourful but unsuccessful presidential candidate of Kenya’s Roots Party, isn’t urging people to default on government loans. A Facebook page using his name is run by an imposter.
Wajackoyah ran for president in the August 2022 elections on the Roots Party of Kenya ticket.
The account’s posts cover a range of contentious issues in Kenya. One, dated 3 February 2023, reads: “HUSTLER FUND limit to be increased by tomorrow! Chukueni hii pesa ya Bure na msilipe!”
The Kiswahili translates as: “Take this free money and don't pay back.”
The hustler fund is a KSh50 billion (about US$400 million) state-backed scheme to provide cheap loans, including to small businesses. It was one of the campaign pledges by Kenyan president William Ruto in the run-up to the 2022 elections.
On 4 February, the government raised the loan limit for more than 6 million people who had consistently borrowed from the fund and repaid their loans in time.
The page’s posts have attracted likes and comments in the thousands. But is it legit?
Facebook allows public figures such as Wajackoyah to verify their accounts with the “blue tick” verification badge.
The unverified page sometimes uses offensive language, uncharacteristic of a social media account run by a respected public figure.
For instance, while urging Kenyans to default on the hustler loan, it wrote: “Ukilipa wewe ni makende ya farasi.” In other words, “If you pay you are a horse’s testicles.”
And Africa Check has found that the phone number 0741875702, posted on the unverified page, is registered to one “Wasonga Ojwang” – not Wajackoyah.
It’s an imposter page.
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