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No, Dubai’s ruler didn’t tweet threat against Kenyan politicians over gold scam

Reports of fake and missing gold in the Dubai royal ruler’s consignment of the metal transported from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Nairobi have caught Kenyan media by storm.

Reports say Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and emir of Dubai, complained to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga over possible dirty dealings with his gold cargo.

An audio tape surfaced online that appeared to link Bungoma county senator Moses Wetang’ula to the scandal. Kenya's directorate of criminal investigations has since warned against circulating the tape.

‘Wetang’ula will commit suicide’

And as investigations into the fake gold scam gathers steam, a screenshot of a tweet by the Dubai ruler has been making the rounds on Facebook.

Most users who shared it either alleged that the tweet, in Arabic, was a direct warning to senator Wetang’ula or the Kenyan authorities.

“I swear Weta [Wetang’ula] will commit suicide, see how this dude is annoyed, esp hapo chini [especially the end part of the tweet]... Jeso (Jesus),” the post reads.

It attracted some 900 reactions and more than 400 comments. A copy posted on Facebook appears to feature the names of Uhuru, Raila and interior minister Fred Matiang’i.

Another caption to the screenshot reads: “Waaah nikubaya ebu soma venye amesema tupange kuenda Uganda nikubaya my friends. Kwanza last line venye amezua kwisha sisi Kenya itakuwa lit. [Things have become messy. Read what he has just said. We better relocate to Uganda. The last line says it all. Things will be bad in Kenya.]”

And the question “Who knows where Moses lives? Reward, Holiday for 2 in Dubai”, also supposedly from the ruler, was posted to another Facebook group.

Emir launching plaza in Dubai

Africa Check extracted the writing in the screenshot and searched for the text on Twitter. We found that the tweet was indeed posted by the Dubai ruler, on 30 April 2019.

Using Google Translate, we discovered that the Arabic tweet has nothing to do with the gold scam probe. Sheikh Maktoum was describing the new Deira Plaza in Dubai.

The English translation reads: “We also launched the ‘Deira Square’ today. A new public area for families and children with parks, lounges, family gatherings and hobbies.

“We have also been briefed on a wide range of internal road projects, new bridges and major roads. All of our projects have one goal: People's happiness.”

We translated another tweet by the ruler on the same event. Its says: “The ‘Deira Plaza’ project that we launched today provides a new urban public space with shaded parks, family gathering areas and entertainment facilities. We reviewed other internal roads, new bridges and major road projects with one goal to achieve: people's happiness.”

Gulf News, one of the biggest selling English newspapers in the UAE, covered the news extensively.

An advanced Twitter search does not show any text matching any other tweet.  

And the ruler had no tweet on his account for 20 May 2019, the date the claim was made. – Dancan Bwire (22/05/19)


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