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No, Kenyan politician Odinga not flying to China for prostate cancer treatment

Is Kenyan opposition politician Raila Odinga being flown to China for emergency medical treatment for prostate cancer?

A photo posted on Facebook on 22 June 2020 shows Odinga in a hospital bed with medical staff around him.

“Raila Odinga suffering from prostate cancer and has been flown out of the country for emergency medical treatment,” the post reads.

“He is currently at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates awaiting clearance to fly to China. UAE will open its airspace from tomorrow.”

The post claims this news has been “confirmed”. But has it?

In Dubai for minor operation

A reverse image search reveals that the photo is almost three years old. It was used in news reports on 9 July 2017, when Odinga was hospitalised in Mombasa. The photo also appeared on TV and newspaper social media accounts that day. The former prime minister was discharged later in the day.

Odinga had addressed several rallies before feeling unwell. His aides attributed it to “food poisoning”.

On 25 June 2020 several news reports quoted Odinga’s brother Oburu Odinga as saying that the politician was in Dubai for a “minor surgical operation on his back”.

“He’s not in China. The last time he was there, I think, was in November last year before the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, if you want to go there, you must be ready for a 14-day military quarantine. That’s not tenable, so there is no way he could have gone there,” he reportedly told Daily Nation.

There have been no “confirmed” reports that Odinga is being treated for prostate cancer. – Vincent Ng’ethe


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