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.
The Facebook page “PROF G.L wajackoyah” uses the name and photos of former Kenyan presidential candidate George Wajackoyah.
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 Facebook page also discredits the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam results, calling them a “major scam”.
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.
Wajackoyah’s official Facebook account – “George Luchiri Wajackoyah” – is verified. The page “PROF G.L wajackoyah” is not.
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.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.
Add new comment