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Kenyans, beware of Facebook accounts impersonating Nyeri county governor Mutahi Kahiga

IN SHORT: Political figures in Kenya are often targeted by impersonators. Two accounts pretending to post on behalf of Nyeri county governor Mutahi Kahiga are examples of this.

Facebook accounts in the name of Nyeri county governor Mutahi Kahiga have appeared on Facebook, claiming to show the governor's daily activities and whereabouts.

The county is located in central Kenya, about three hours from the capital Nairobi.

Most of the content posted on these Facebook accounts using Kahiga's name is uncharacteristic of what one would expect from a governor's social media account or page.

The Facebook account Hon Mutahi Kahiga features posts about sports betting sites, music videos and other questionable content

Another account, H E Mutahi Kahiga, has adverts for weight loss capsules. Other posts promise instant cash if you call a spiritual helper whose contact details are listed.

Kahiga took over as governor after the death of Wahome Gakuru in 2017, before being elected in 2022.

Typically, a governor's Facebook account in Kenya shows his or her daily official engagements and whereabouts.

Imposters running fake Facebook accounts have in the past used the names of prominent Kenyans to post controversial statements or scam users.

Africa Check has exposed several such Facebook accounts and pages in the past.

So, are these two accounts really run by Kahiga? We checked.

KahigaProfile_Fake

Ignore fake accounts

For details of Kahiga's authentic accounts, Africa Check contacted Carol Nderi, the county's director of communications.

Nderi confirmed that two Facebook accounts – Governor Mutahi Kahiga and Mutahi Kahiga – are the governor's personal accounts. The Facebook page H.E. Mwalimu Mutahi Kahiga, EGH is his official Facebook page and has 65,000 followers.

Content posted on Kahiga's official page includes his official engagements and the various ongoing development projects in the county. He posts more personal news and views on his personal pages. But the Facebook accounts advertising gambling, weight-loss pills or instant cash are impersonations, and should be ignored.

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