Back to Africa Check

No, Kenyan politician Igathe didn’t call people living in slums ‘goons’ who ‘don’t vote’

“I have officially suspended my ground campaigns especially in slums and informal settlements in Nairobi. Such areas are prone to breeding goons who don't even vote,” begins an astonishing quote attributed to Kenyan businessman and politician Polycarp Igathe.

The quote is on a screenshot of what seems to be a Facebook post by local broadcaster NTV Kenya, itself circulating on Facebook in May 2022.

It continues: “I will keep my politics in boardroom and wait for Raila and Uhuru's endorsement. I know nothing will block my victory even without slum votes.”

Kenya is set to hold general elections on 9 August. Igathe is running for the Nairobi governor’s seat under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition ticket.

Uhuru Kenyatta is Kenya’s president and ruling Jubilee Party leader. Raila Odinga leads the opposition Orange Democratic Movement. He’s also a presidential candidate under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition, and enjoys Kenyatta’s support.

But did NTV Kenya really quote Igathe calling slum dwellers “goons”? We checked.


No evidence

Kenyan politicians are highly unlikely to insult potential voters. Instead, they strive to strike a tone that will appeal to low-income earners.

Africa Check went through NTV Kenya’s Facebook posts in the three days before the screenshot appeared online. We did not find this post.

We also searched Facebook for the exact quote and came up empty. And we couldn’t find any media interviews in which Igathe said this.

The screenshot is fake.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.