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No, 76-year-old man who cycled 200km to former Kenyan president Moi’s burial not dead

A man who reportedly cycled hundreds of kilometres to attend the burial of Kenya’s former president Daniel arap Moi has “died of exhaustion”, claims an article shared on a Kenyan Facebook group page. 

“There were no signs of torture on his body. The 76-year-old was probably exhausted,” the article, on the site Kenya Today, quotes a police officer as saying.

Nathan Abuti, who is 76, cycled more than 200 kilometres from Butere to Moi’s home in Kabarak, where the former president was buried on 12 February 2020. The article was published on the same day.

Photos of Abuti with his bike and signing a condolence book at the burial were shared on Facebook by KTN News, a mainstream TV channel.

But did Abuti then die “of exhaustion”, the same day? We checked. 

Abuti alive and well

On 14 February, Nairobi governor Mike Sonko tweeted photos of Abuti when he donated a posho mill, a machine for milling maize, and a motorbike to the elderly man.

Two days after the report of his death, Abuti was alive and well.

And Africa Check spoke to Abuti on 19 February. 

“I am in Ndalu now,” he told us on the phone. “If everything goes as planned, I will be in Nairobi tomorrow. Anyone who wants to know anything about me can contact me.”

In August 2019 Abuti was featured in news reports on his work spreading messages of peace on his bicycle. – Grace Gichuhi


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