IN SHORT: A TikTok video claims that Kimani Ichung’wah, the leader of the majority party in Kenya’s national assembly, confessed to an invasion of the Northlands estate, owned by the powerful Kenyatta family, on 27 March 2023. But the clip actually shows part of a news report in which the politician denies involvement.
“I CAN NOT APOLOGIZE!! Kimani Ichungwa ruthlessly explains why they sent goons to raid Uhuru’s Northlands properties.”
That’s the caption on a video posted to TikTok at the end of March 2023, which has been liked more than 1,400 times.
They are being interviewed by Citizen TV news presenter Waihiga Mwaura about violence during protests on 27 March. This included an invasion by an unknown group of a farm owned by the family of former president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Northlands invasion simultaneous with protests called by opposition leader Odinga
The protest on 27 March was the third in a series of demonstrations called by opposition leader Raila Odinga. The unsuccessful candidate for Kenya's presidency in August 2022 general elections has been calling for changes to the electoral process and protesting the high cost of living, among other grievances.
The invaders destroyed commercial trees, stole and slaughtered livestock, and set fire to parts of the large estate. Controversially, police did not intervene.
A company linked to Odinga was also targeted.
Ichung’wah is an ally of president William Ruto, who beat Odinga in the August elections.
During reports of the invasion, several media stations showed a video clip of Ichung'wah claiming that Kenyatta was funding the protests and warning him of possible consequences to his properties if he did not “respect other people's properties”.
Ichung’wah has denied instigating the invasion. But what is the truth behind the TikTok video?
Ichung’wah denies involvement in invasion
The TikTok video is a snippet of an interview broadcast live on 28 March during the 9pm news programme on Citizen TV, the country’s most watched channel. The full video is available on the station’s YouTube channel. The TikTok snippet is from the section of the video from minute 0:04 to 7:29.
In the video, Ichung'wah says the attacks were unfortunate and that such attacks should not happen to anyone. He does say he has no apologies to make for his earlier comments and that they were simply a warning to Kenyatta. He also calls for the investigation and prosecution of those behind the attacks.
Earlier in the day on 28 March, Ichung'wah had held a press conference, in which he condemned violence of any kind and said he was willing to be investigated and account for his time.
The video caption claiming Ichung’wah has admitted to sending “goons” to attack the Kenyatta family farm is misleading.
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