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‘Muthama, Kalonzo allies in night long meeting’? Fake front page of Kenya’s Standard newspaper

A Facebook page with over 53,000 followers has shared what looks like the front page of the 17 April 2021 issue of Kenya’s the Standard newspaper.

Another user also posted the same image. The headline reads: “Muthama, Kalonzo allies in night long meeting.” 

The story reports that former Machakos county senator, Johnstone Muthama, has reached out to former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka to rescue his political career. 

Musyoka is also the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement party

Machakos county is southeast of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The summary below the headline reads: “In an unprecedented move coming days after his new party's fortunes appeared to alarmingly dwindle, ex-Machakos senator has now reached out to the Wiper party leader, determined to mend fences and rescue his political career whose future appears shaky in Tanga Tanga.”

Muthama is the chairperson of United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a party closely linked to deputy president William Ruto

The UDA candidate suffered a defeat to the Wiper party candidate in a Machakos senatorial by-election in March 2021. This was interpreted by a local newspaper as a sign that Muthama’s popularity could be waning in the county.

Photos of Muthama and Musyoka also appear on the front page. Many users have shared it with different captions.

But did national newspaper the Standard report on a night meeting between the two political rivals or their allies? We checked.


Altered front page

The newspaper usually posts its front page on Facebook. 

The front page posted on 17 April has the headline: “KCPE stars' dreams and career plans.” 

It is a story about the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) national exams. The front page shows photos of six of the top students. There is no mention of either Muthama or Musyoka.

Muthama also dismissed the altered version. He tweeted: “Deceptive people love fake news because it makes their dream look like reality.”

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