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Kenya’s chief justice tried to flee the country? Standard newspaper front page photoshopped

“Maraga’s plot to flee the country halted,” reads what appears to be the front page of the 2 October 2020 edition of Kenya’s the Standard newspaper, posted on Facebook.

Text below the headline adds: “After throwing the country into a spin and a possible constitutional crisis, Chief Justice David Maraga secretly planned to flee the country on Thursday this week, only for his plans to be thwarted, after the KQ Frankfurt flight ticket he had booked fell in the hands of the NIS operatives.”

It shows a photo of Maraga, who is also president of the country’s supreme court, as well as what seems to be a Kenya Airways travel document.

On 21 September the chief justice sent a letter to president Uhuru Kenyatta advising him to dissolve parliament because the body had “failed, refused and/or neglected” to pass gender laws, despite six previous petitions requesting that it do so. Maraga’s move was guided by Kenya’s constitution.

Manipulated front pages of Kenyan newspapers have been making the rounds on social media for some time now. Is this one of them?

E-paper reveals real front page

We checked the Standard’s e-paper and found that the real headline for the 2 October edition is different. It reads: “Uhuru in Paris as Ruto occupies Jubilee House.”

The summary reads: “Pulling apart. Deputy President camps at party headquarters as Mt. Kenya leaders hold another crisis meeting at city hotel. President woos investors and pitched for youth empowerment.”

Two photos below that are of Uhuru with French president Emmanuel Macron, and of deputy president William Ruto addressing Jubilee Party members of parliament.

On 3 October the Standard posted the doctored front page on Facebook, stamped with the word “FAKE”. – Grace Gichuhi


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