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Kenyan presidential candidate Odinga watching rival Ruto’s solo presidential debate on TV? No, viral image photoshopped

An image going viral on Kenyan social media appears to show Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga watching his rival, deputy president William Ruto, in a presidential debate on TV.

Kenya is to hold general elections on 9 August 2022. Odinga and Ruto lead the four presidential candidates the electoral commission has cleared to run. The ODM boss is campaigning on the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition ticket. Ruto heads the Kenya Kwanza alliance.

The image is circulating with the claim that it shows Odinga following the debate from his home in Karen, a suburb of Nairobi, the capital.

The presidential debate was held in Nairobi on 26 July. Out of the four candidates, only Ruto and Agano Party leader Wahiga Mwaure took part – both appearing alone at the podium.

Odinga was to face Ruto in the debate, but withdrew. His campaign team said their candidate couldn’t share a national stage “with a person who lacks basic decency”.

The image has also been posted here, here, here and here.

But does it show Odinga watching Ruto’s solo debate on TV? We checked.


Odinga watching football match

A reverse image search led us to the original photo, one of four posted on Twitter by ODM communication director Philip Etale on 1 January.

In the photos, Odinga is watching a football match with other political leaders.

“Kenya’s number 1 fan of Arsenal Raila Odinga together with Peter Kenneth and MP Maina Kamanda following the match between Arsenal and ManCity. Arsenal are currently ahead with 1-0,” Etale tweeted.

The photo has been altered to make it appear that Odinga was watching Ruto on TV, and not the English Premier League match that his team eventually lost 1-2 to Manchester City.

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