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Kenyan electoral commission disqualified Nairobi governorship candidate for lacking a degree? No, screengrab of TV broadcast doctored

A screengrab posted on Facebook shows a TV broadcast with the chair of the Kenyan electoral commission Wafula Chebukati and the vice chair Juliana Cherera on the screen.

The chyron – the text on the lower part of the screen giving a summary of the broadcast – reads: “SAKAJA HAJAHITIMU Chebukati afichua kwamba Senator hana Degree.”

That’s Kiswahili for: “SAKAJA IS NOT QUALIFIED Chebukati discloses that the Senator has no degree.”

Johnson Sakaja, the senator of Nairobi, is vying to be the city governor in the elections scheduled for 9 August 2022.

The elections law requires gubernatorial candidates to have a degree from a university recognised in Kenya. 

The screengrab was widely published on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here

The screengrab has the logo of Citizen TV, a TV station in Kenya, and has the words “Bomas Live” on the top right of the screen, indicating that it was a live broadcast from Bomas of Kenya

But did the commission disqualify the senator, and is the screengrab of a real broadcast? We checked. 


No mention of Sakaja in original video

A reverse image search on Google Lens led us to a screengrab of a Citizen TV broadcast with the chyron reading “Maandalizi ya uchaguzi”. 

A Google search led us to a YouTube news video uploaded by Citizen TV Kenya on 2 June, the day the screengrab went viral online.

The chryon reads in Kiswahili: “IDHINI YA UCHAGUZI IEBC imeendelea kukutana na wagombea urais kuidhinishwa.” This translates as: “APPROVAL FOR POLLS: IEBC continues to meet presidential aspirants for clearance.”

The chyron then changes to “MAANDALIZI YA UCHAGUZI Mwenyekiti wa IEBC azungumzia sajili.” This means: “ELECTION PREPAREDNESS: IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati speaks about the register.” 

At no point is there a mention of Sakaja and his eligibility for office. On 19 June, the electoral commission cleared him to vie for the governor’s seat.

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