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No, Kenya's Star newspaper didn’t report that the Luhya and the Kalenjin communities were to form a political alliance. Graphic is fake

IN SHORT: A graphic attributed to the Star newspaper claims that two Kenyan communities, the Luhya and the Kalenjin, are about to form a political alliance. But the graphic is fake.

“BREAKING: Luhya Kalenjin alliance to be formed. (KALELUHYA),” reads a graphic circulating on Facebook.

It features an image of prime cabinet secretary and cabinet secretary for foreign and diaspora affairs Musalia Mudavadi, and the logo of Kenyan newspaper the Star.

Mudavadi comes from the Luhya, a community in western Kenya. Kalenjin is a community in the Rift Valley region. Kenyan president William Ruto is a Kalenjin.

The term “KALELUHYA” comes from combining the first four letters of the word “Kalenjin” and the word “Luhya”.

The two communities are among the most populous in Kenya, along with the Kikuyu, who live mainly in the central region. 

The graphic comes at a time when the politics of succession are rapidly gaining momentum.

Local media have reported that Kenyan deputy president Rigathi Gachagua, who is from the Kikuyu community, is isolated in the current government. Ruto and Gachagua have long been political allies and even led an alliance that won the August 2022 presidential election. Ruto became the president and Gachagua his deputy.

Users who posted the graphic suggested that Ruto was courting Mudavadi ahead of Kenya’s 2027 general elections, leaving out Gachagua. Others condemned the perceived alliance, saying it would isolate other communities.

The graphic has also been posted here and here. (Note: See more instances listed at the end of this report.)

But is it legit? We checked.

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Fake graphic

Africa Check noted that the graphic was poorly done. The text box used has large spaces above and below the text. Compared with the legit ones posted by the Star, we found this rather unusual.

A comma is also missing between the words Luhya and Kalenjin, and there’s a misplaced full stop. We also noticed the font, which is very different from the one used in the Star’s graphics. These indicate that the graphic is fake.

While such an alliance would have attracted the attention of Kenyan mainstream media, no such report has been broadcast or published.

We checked the Star’s Facebook page and found the graphic stamped “FAKE”.

“This post is not associated with us in any way and should be treated as FAKE. Get the real copy on our official verified pages,” the newspaper said.

The graphic was also posted here, here, here, here, here and here.

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