Back to Africa Check

‘Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga will never be president’? No, this graphic quoting lawmaker Millie Odhiambo is fake

IN SHORT: Kenyan opposition politician Raila Odinga has been leading demonstrations to force the government to address the high cost of living and remove tax hikes. But this stinging criticism of the demonstrations from one of his close allies has been fabricated.

A graphic attributing a quote to Millie Akoth Odhiambo is circulating on Facebook. In it, Odhiambo appears to criticise the anti-government demonstrations led by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga.

False_MillieOdhiambo

Odhiambo is a member of parliament for Suba North constituency in Kenya’s Homa Bay county.

The quote reads: “Maandamano may no longer help us as a region. It is about time we accept the fact that Baba may never be President again. Luo Nation should now call itself to a meeting where such facts will be discussed and a way forward for the future decided.”

Odinga is from the Luo community.

“Maandamano” is the Kiswahili equivalent of “demonstrations” while “baba” is Kiswahili for “father”. It is an affectionate nickname for Odinga, who is the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader. The ODM is one of the parties in the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition, also led by Odinga. 

The coalition lost the 9 August 2022 election to president William Ruto. This was Odinga’s fifth unsuccessful run for the presidency. But he has rejected the results, saying Ruto's government is illegitimate. 

Odinga has been leading nationwide protests in 2023, mainly over the high cost of living and tax hikes.

Other users have posted the Odhiambo quote here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Odhiambo is one of Odinga’s closest allies. But did she say that he would never be Kenya’s president and the demonstrations would not benefit the community? We checked.

Fabricated quote

The quote would have been picked up by mainstream media, considering Odhiambo and Odinga’s political friendship. But we could not find it in any credible media reports.

We checked the legislator’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for the quote, but came up empty. (Twitter is known as “X” after rebranding in July 2023.) 

On 24 July, the lawmaker posted the graphic with the word “fake” stamped on it on her Facebook page.

The quote and the graphic are fabricated, made up to discredit Odhiambo and place doubt on the degree of political support Odinga enjoys.

 

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on africacheck.org.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.