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No, CNN did not report on Kenyan politician Musalia Mudavadi – screengrab old and photoshopped

An image shared widely on social media in Kenya shows a screengrab of what appears to be a broadcast of the US-based news network CNN

It shows Evan Peréz, justice correspondent for CNN. The “breaking news” banner across the screen reads: “MUDAVADI TO CAUSE EARTHQUAKE IN KENYA”. 

Musalia Mudavadi is a Kenyan politician and the party leader of Amani National Congress. He is running for president in the country’s August 2022 elections. On 16 January 2022 he promised to make a declaration on 23 January that would cause a “political earthquake”. He has since announced he would support deputy president William Ruto’s quest for the presidency.

Africa Check found over 90 Facebook posts sharing the screengrab.

But were Mudavadi’s planned political activities really broadcast on CNN? We checked.


Image old, from 2015

There are signs the text in the screengrab was digitally manipulated. If you look closely, the white box behind the text in the banner isn’t aligned and looks as though it was pasted in digitally.  

But the biggest hint is the graphic behind Peréz. It shows a map of Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia labelled “MH370 Disappeared” which suggests he might be speaking about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

This event was in March 2014 and a reverse image search shows the screengrab was published online as early as July 2015. But originally the banner headline read “U.S. INTEL SUGGESTS DELIBERATE ACT IN MH370 COCKPIT”.

We searched for this phrase on YouTube and found the original broadcast, broadcast on 31 July 2015. On it Peréz is reporting on the disappearance of the Malaysian plane and not Kenyan politician Musalia Mudavadi.

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