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Kenyan deputy president Ruto watching rival Odinga announce presidential bid on TV? No, image doctored

On 10 December 2021 Kenyan opposition politician and former prime minister Raila Odinga announced he would run for president in the August 2022 elections. The announcement was made at the Azimio la Umoja national convention at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

Odinga leads the Orange Democratic Movement, as well as the Azimio la Umoja – Kiswahili for “call to unity” – coalition. His main rival for the presidency is current deputy president William Ruto, a leader of the ruling Jubilee Party who now campaigns for the United Democratic Alliance.

On the day of the convention, an image of Ruto watching TV in a well-appointed room started circulating on Facebook.

The screen seems to show crowds of people at a stadium, with the words “AZIMIO LA UMOJA CONVENTION” displayed at the bottom.

The captions shared with the image claim Ruto was watching Odinga’s announcement. One version of the image, widely shared as a screenshot, has text that reads: “Photo of Dp Ruto watching Raila Odinga's Azimio la Umoja proceeding stir mixed reactions among Kenyans online.”

But is the image authentic? We checked.


Photo from 2019, altered before

On 10 December, Ruto was out campaigning in Narok and Turkana counties, so it is unlikely the image was taken that day.

A reverse image search of the image reveals that the original has been online since 2019. Africa Check has debunked a different version that was altered to show Ruto watching director of public prosecutions Noordin Haji, who had called for the arrest of senior government officials for corruption.

The original photo was tweeted on 21 July 2019 by Emoo FM, a Kalenjin-language radio station.

In the original, the screen shows auditor general Edward Ouko appearing on K24 TV. K24 TV and Emoo FM are both owned by Mediamax.

“Have you tuned in to @K24Tv? DP @WilliamsRuto is tuned and will shortly be live on #RutoOnPunchline with @AnneKiguta,” the radio station tweeted.



Ruto was about to be interviewed by K24 TV, and was watching Ouko on the screen. 

The channel quickly debunked the doctored image.

“#Factcheck: An image of the DP Ruto that was taken on Sunday, during his interview on K24 TV's Punchline has been doctored to appear as if it was taken when DPP ordered the arrest of CS Rotich on Monday. The correct image shows outgoing Auditor-General Edward Ouko on the TV screen,” K24 TV tweeted at the time.



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