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Kenyan politicians Martha Karua and Mwangi Kiunjuri meeting, Kiunjuri to swop sides? No, ignore photo from 2021

A photo of Kenyan politicians Martha Karua and Mwangi Kiunjuri has gone viral on social media in June 2022.

In the photo, Karua and Kiunjuri are sitting around a table with former member of parliament Kabando wa Kabando.

Facebook users who shared the photo claimed the photo showed Kiunjuri, leader of the Service Party (TSP), in discussions to join the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition. 

Kiunjuri is known as an ally of deputy president William Ruto and the TSP is part of Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza political alliance.

The Azimio coalition is headed by former prime minister and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga. Karua, who is the party leader of Narc Kenya, is Odinga’s running mate. Kabando is also a member of Narc Kenya. 

Odinga will face Ruto in Kenya’s 9 August 2022 presidential election.

The photo has been posted with these claims of a defection here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the photo recent? We checked.


‘Ignore the rumours going around,’ says Service Party

A reverse image search of the photo reveals it was posted by Karua on 11 February 2021.

At the time, the Azimio la Umoja and Kenya Kwanza political formations had not come into existence.

She captioned the photo: “Having tea with friends.”

On 15 June 2022 the TSP asked its supporters to ignore reports that the party was joining the Azimio la Umoja coalition.

It posted on Facebook: “Ignore the rumours going around about TSP joining Azimio. TSP has a National Governing Council (NGC) that would make such a decision were it to come to that. I urge our candidates not to be distracted from their campaigns by such rumours.”

The photo from 2021 has been shared out of context in 2022.

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