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No evidence viral photo shows egg business destroyed by supporters of Kenyan opposition leader

IN SHORT: Soon after Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga suggested he would call for a boycott of certain products and services, to protest president William Ruto’s government, a photo of broken eggs started circulating on social media. But there’s no evidence this is the vandalism of Odinga supporters.

A photo doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter in Kenya shows a wheelbarrow lying on its side. Several crates of eggs have fallen to the ground and some of the eggs are broken.

The photo has been posted with the claim that it shows a business run by a resident of Kisumu county in western Kenya, destroyed by supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga.

One caption reads: “This is a Luo woman struggling to sell eggs and put food on the table for her children. But this guys that demostrares in kisumu  DESTROY all her eggs in Kisumu because Raila has ORDERED Luos not to eat eggs!” The user then asks Kenyans to “shun” politicians.

Other versions of the claim say the incident happened specifically in Kondele, an administrative ward in the county.

Odinga is the leader of the Azimio la Umoja coalition. He lost the 9 August 2022 election to incumbent president William Ruto. He rejected the results and has said Ruto's government is illegitimate.

Kisumu county is dominated by Luo people and is thought of as Odinga's political stronghold. He is also a Luo.

Odinga has called for countrywide protests, beginning 20 March 2023, to force Ruto’s government to address the high cost of living and the reconstitution of Kenya's electoral commission, among other grievances.

The photo went viral just after Odinga hinted on 10 March that he would order his supporters to boycott products and services from companies thought to be aligned to Ruto’s government. Ruto is famously a chicken farmer and his egg business instantly became a subject of discussion after Odinga’s statement.

But does the photo show eggs destroyed by Odinga supporters? We checked.


No evidence

While the photo went viral in Kenya on 10 March just after Odinga said he would encourage a boycott, a reverse image search of the photo reveals it was online as early as 22 January 2020. It was then posted as a reply to a tweet by news agency Reuters about an unrelated story. 

It was reposted by a different Twitter user in April the same year and again in 2021. But none of these had anything to do with the political situation in Kenya.

We found no evidence the photo of broken eggs was taken in Kenya or that the eggs had been broken by the supporters of any Kenyan opposition leader.

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