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Kenyans beware – this tweet from opposition party is fake

IN SHORT: A tweet claiming the opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement, promised “destruction of people’s property”, has been faked. In the original, ODM leader Raila Odinga said there would be no destruction during the planned protests.

“We assure Mr. Ruto that there will be destruction of people’s property during our peaceful protests tomorrow. There are no businesses along the streets we are intending to hold our demonstrations tomorrow,” reads a tweet in a screenshot posted on Facebook in Kenya.

The tweet appears to be from the Twitter account of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party. It is dated “01 May 23” with a time stamp reading “14:59”.

On 9 March 2023, ODM party leader and Kenya presidential candidate in the 2022 elections, Raila Odinga, announced the start of nationwide protests. They were against the high cost of living and electoral irregularities, among other reasons outlined. The protests have been marred by violence and destruction of property.

The screenshot has been shared on Facebook here, here, here and here.

But did the ODM really tweet this? We checked.


Hints of fake tweet

In December 2022 Twitter announced that, going forward, tweets would show “view counts”, or how many times the tweet had been seen. The tweet in the screenshot circulating does not show this view count. 

The date is also in the wrong format for Twitter – “01 May 23” instead of “May 1, 2023”. The screenshot of the tweet has been doctored.

We also searched the Twitter account of the ODM – which has the handle @TheODMparty, the same as in the screenshot – and found the original tweet from 1 May. 

It is quoting Odinga, but as saying the opposite of what is claimed in the falsified version: “We assure Mr. Ruto that there will be no destruction of people’s property during our peaceful protests tomorrow. There are no businesses along the streets we are intending to hold our demonstrations tomorrow.”

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