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No, Kenyan lawmaker doesn’t display ‘how to rule Africans’ book on desk – photo manipulated

A photo of a Kenyan member of parliament at his desk, showing a book titled How to Rule Africans, has been shared on Facebook.

In the photo Dr Swarup Ranjan Mishra, popularly known as Kiprop arap Chelule, is seated at his desk with a computer in front of him, surrounded by piles of books and stationery. The titles on the spines of three books on his left are visible in the photo, including one called How to Rule Africans. 

Mishra is Indian but has lived in Kenya since 1997. He is the member of parliament, or MP, for Kesses constituency in Uasin Gishu county, northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. 

Mishra is widely regarded as having the community he represents at heart and speaks the local language, Kalenjin. But the post suggests he has a racist approach to leadership.

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, shows the photo was shared in public groups with thousands of followers. It was also shared through WhatsApp groups in Kenya. 

But is the sometimes controversial MP really studying “how to rule Africans” and displaying a book on the topic prominently on his desk? We investigated. 

Photo doctored

A reverse image search of the photo shows it first appeared online on the legislator’s verified official Facebook account on 27 August 2020. 

But in the original photo there is no book with the title How to Rule Africans on the MP’s desk. On top of a book titled Cascades are two black leather-bound books. 

In the photo circulating on social media, the titles 48 Law of Power and How to Rule Africans have been photoshopped onto the spines of the black books. 

The circulated photo has been digitally manipulated. – Grace Gichuhi


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