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Newspaper headline linking Kenya’s deputy president to ‘cattle rustling’ is fake

An image that appears to show the front page of Kenya’s Star newspaper has been receiving a great deal of attention on social media. 

It reports that the country’s deputy president, William Ruto, has links to cattle rustling. 

The headline is: “The Ruto, KMC, cattle rustling link”. A summary below reads: “Fresh details of DP Ruto’s bid to supply to KMC, and the cattle rustling connection, emerge”.

The Kenya Meat Commission, or KMC, is a government body providing meat and meat products to consumers. It was recently handed over to the army to manage.

The front page, dated 18 to 20 September, also shows a photo of the deputy president inspecting a prize-winning cow or bull, but, suspiciously, the photo is not captioned. 

The image of the front page was also shared on WhatsApp and Twitter, with users asking if the headline was true.

But is this really what appeared on the front page of the 18 to 20 September edition of the Star newspaper? We checked.

Newspaper frontpage photoshopped

The image in circulation is photoshopped, or digitally manipulated.

The headline of the real edition of the newspaper, published on the night of 17 September, read “Kinoti and Wanjigi in fierce gun battle”. 

The article to which the headline refers was about Kenyan businessman Jimi Wanjigi's court battle with director of criminal investigations, George Kinoti, over guns seized from Wanjigi’s house in 2017.

The summary said: “Police say he had no justification to arm himself as the country enjoyed relative peace then.” 

The photo on the real front page was also different: it showed a group of senators. 

The Star shared the photoshopped image on their Facebook page, stamping it “fake news”. – Dancan Bwire

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