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Kenyans waiting for coronavirus curfew crackdown? No, photo from 2011

A photo of hundreds of people crammed onto balconies on the side of a building has been posted on Facebook with the claim it was taken in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi in March 2020.

The post reads: “In Githurai, curious onlookers have started to gather and are seen securing vantage points of the streets below in anticipation of free afro cinema and dance that will unfold after 7:00 PM. Kenyans, you don’t cease to amaze me. Stay Tuned! Stay at Home!”

On 27 March 2020 Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a dusk to dawn curfew to slow the spread of Covid-19

The “afro cinema” and “dance” in the post doesn’t mean entertainment. Clashes between police and civilians during the curfew have been widely anticipated. And photos, videos and media reports of police brutality under the curfew have been widely condemned.

Does this photo show crowds in Githurai waiting for the curfew crackdown?

Onlookers to building collapse rescue in 2011

Using a reverse image search, Africa Check found that the photo is almost nine years old.

We copied part of the permalink on a website brought up in the search and searched for it on Google. This helped us locate the photo on Getty, a stock photo website.

Here it’s captioned: “A crowd watches rescue efforts after a building collapsed on June 14, 2011 in Nairobi. At least two workers were killed and 14 others are missing on June 14 after a six-story building under construction collapsed in the Embakasi neighborhood of Nairobi.” 

The photo is credited to Simon Maina, an AFP photographer. 

The building’s collapse was covered by local Kenyan media. The photo is from years ago, and has nothing to do with the current coronavirus curfew. – Dancan Bwire


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