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Kenya’s opposition leader Odinga pledges support for president Ruto’s re-election in 2027? No, this graphic is fake

IN SHORT: Kenyan president William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga were seen together in Uganda in the presence of that country’s president, Yoweri Museveni. But Odinga did not pledge to support Ruto’s re-election after the meeting, as this viral graphic suggests.

A graphic circulating on Facebook attributes a noteworthy quote to Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga.

“President Ruto and I have opened another political chapter for our beloved nation. Any leader opposed to our handshake is not honest to Kenyans and the constitution of Kenya. That’s why I pledge my full support for president Ruto’s re-election in 2027 on my behalf and on behalf of my party ODM,” the quote reads.

The graphic includes the logo of the news website. It also features a photo of president William Ruto and Odinga in Uganda for a meeting with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. 

The word “handshake” became prominent in March 2018, when rivals – former president Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga – reconciled. It has since been widely used in Kenya to refer to a political truce.

Ruto and Odinga have been bitter political rivals. Odinga lost the presidential election to Ruto in August 2022. In the months following the election and in 2023, Odinga led demonstrations to protest the high cost of living, tax increases and the results of the polls, among other grievances

The government finally agreed to talks with the opposition, under the guidance of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Odinga has formally announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC). The AUC is the secretariat of the African Union and manages the day-to-day activities of the 55-country bloc. It is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ruto’s government supports Odinga’s candidacy and this was discussed during the meeting with Museveni.

The quote attributed to Odinga has been posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But has Odinga said he will throw his weight behind Ruto’s re-election and is the graphic legit? We checked.


‘This post did not emanate from our media house’

Given that the two are currently the biggest political players in Kenya, news that Odinga had endorsed Ruto for re-election would’ve been reported locally and internationally. But no mainstream media has reported it.

Both are active on social media, using their verified accounts to keep supporters informed of their activities and whereabouts. But neither has posted this.

On 1 March 2024, took to social media to dismiss the graphic, posting it on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) with the word “FAKE” stamped on it.

“This post did not emanate from our media house. It does not conform to the in-house branding rules and did not go through the multiple approval checks set in place to prevent misreporting. We, therefore, flag it as FAKE,” the media agency wrote on Facebook.

The graphic and its claim are fake.

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