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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.

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