Back to Africa Check

‘Mass exodus from Ruto’? Star newspaper headline fake

An image of what looks like a front page of the Star, a Kenyan daily, with the headline “Mass exodus from Ruto” was posted on Facebook in March 2021. 

Underneath the headline is a brief summary: “Hints of betrayal as Mt. Kenya Tanga Tanga MPS in Kirinyaga, Nakuru and Nyandarua pledge loyalty to Uhuru.”

William Ruto is Kenya’s deputy president and has declared interest in running for president in the 2022 elections.

Uhuru Kenyatta is Kenya’s president

The two have worked together since the 2013 general election but the media have reported they have fallen out.

But is the front page shared on Facebook genuine and published by the Star? We checked.


Image old, photoshopped

The newspaper is dated “5-7 June 2020”.

Africa Check searched for the sub-heading to another article on the front page, “Controversy rocks Uhuru’s radical executive order”, on Google.

We found both the version of the front page shared on Facebook and what appears to be the original front page in the search results.

The original front page has a different headline: “Scramble for Luhya vote bloc begins.” 

We searched for this headline on Twitter and found another copy of the real front page, published by the Star on 4 June 2020. The version circulating on social media has been digitally manipulated. 

The main photo on the genuine front page is also different. The Star did not publish an article with the front-page headline “Mass exodus from Ruto”.

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

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.