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No, Kenya’s Orange Democratic Movement not giving away cars as ‘youth empowerment’

A graphic posted on Facebook on 18 October 2020 announces that Raila Odinga, leader of Kenya’s Orange Democratic Movement opposition party, and Kenyan businessman Jimmy Wanjigi will be “donating cars to youth groups and individuals” as an exercise in “youth empowerment”.

It shows rows of cars, inset with photos of Odinga and Wanjigi. The ODM logo appears below, with the venue given as “Jacaranda grounds”.

In one post, the caption of the graphic reads: “You are all invited to Jacaranda grounds where Former Kibra and Langata MP Raila will be donating Range Rovers and Helicopters to YOUTHS and the Women groups. Feel free to attend. Go and Grab yours! #youthempowerment.”

It has been posted elsewhere without a caption, while other Facebook users have insinuated that the donations are meant to counter the “wheelbarrow movement”. This refers to deputy president William Ruto’s recent donations of wheelbarrows to young people, seen as an attempt to win votes in the 2022 elections.  Ruto has declared his interest to succeed current president Uhuru Kenyatta.

This graphic gives many details but no date, which is uncharacteristic of a genuine ad by a major political party.

‘Fake ... ignore it’

A Google reverse image search of the photo of cars led us to a Facebook page advertising car products and services, written in Luxembourgish – a recognised minority language in Belgium. It’s the Facebook page’s cover photo

It seems to have been picked randomly – and certainly does not show cars supposedly to be donated by Raila and Wanjigi at the Jacaranda grounds.

On 18 October, the ODM posted the graphic on the party’s verified Twitter account, stamped “FAKE”.

“NOTE that the poster circulating on social media fora is FAKE... ignore it,” the party tweeted. – Grace Gichuhi


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