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No, Kenyan governor Joseph Ole Lenku did not say only the Maasai could join his new political party

IN SHORT: According to a graphic posted on Facebook, Kenyan politician Joseph Ole Lenku has said that only Maasai people could join his new political party. However, the quote is fake.

“I was only elected by the Maasai in the last general Election ata chama wamaasai tu ndo wataingia,” reads a quote on a graphic circulating on social media in Kenya. 

The quote, written in English and Kiswahili, translates to: “I was only elected by the Maasai in the last general election and it will only be Maasais who will join the political party.”

The quote is attributed to Kenyan politician and governor of Kajiado county, Joseph Ole Lenku. Lenku was the cabinet secretary for interior security in 2013, but was sacked barely 20 months into the role after a rise in civil unrest in the country.

The graphic features Lenku’s image and the Mayian FM logo and website address. It is dated 3 October 2023. Mayian FM is a radio station based in the town of Narok, broadcasting in the Maa language for the Maasai community.

Lenku is reported to be in the process of registering a new political party called the Maasai Community Party, which will campaign for president William Ruto in the 2027 general election. Ruto is the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) coalition leader. 

In the August 2022 general election, Lenku successfully won the Kajiado governor seat under an Orange Democratic Party ticket. The creation of his new political party appears to be ruffling the feathers of UDA political leaders in the Kajiado region.

But is it true that the governor said this new political party would only be for Maasais? We checked.

LenkuQuote_False

‘Treat it as fake news’

On 3 October, Mayian FM posted the graphic on their official Facebook and X social media pages with the words “fake news” printed across it in red. 

“Treat it as fake news,” the station wrote.

The quote on the circulating digital card is fake and should be ignored.

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