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No, Kericho county deputy governor didn't warn Kenya’s deputy president to steer clear of accident fund investigations

IN SHORT: There has been an uproar in Kenya over reports that funds meant for Londiani accident victims were misappropriated. But this screenshot of a Facebook post suggesting the county’s deputy governor confronted the country’s deputy president over the issue is fabricated.

A screenshot of what appears to be a Facebook post by NTV Kenya quotes Kericho county deputy governor, Fred Kirui, confronting Kenya’s deputy president Rigathi Gachagua. 

NTV Kenya is a popular TV channel in the country.

In the screenshot, Kirui is quoted asking Gachagua to “keep off” an investigation into how funds meant for victims of the Londiani accident were used.

“DP Gachagua must keep off the Londiani investigation process, his sudden intervention is not a coincidence with Governor Mutai's silence,” the post reads. Eric Mutai is the county’s governor.

On 30 June 2023, an out-of-control truck rammed into a busy market at a junction in Londiani town in Kericho county, killing 52 people.

On 4 July, Gachagua led a fundraising drive meant to help the victims of the accident and their families. According to local media, KSh14.5 million was raised in total.

But questions have been raised over how the money was spent. The deputy governor and some families of the victims have accused top officials in the county of misappropriating the funds, leading to a possible investigation by Kenya's Directorate of Criminal Investigation.

Kirui has been criticised by supporters of the county’s leaders for his views on how the funds were spent. This post appears to imply that he is fighting his county as well as the national government.

On 4 August, Africa Check debunked a different screenshot falsely quoting the deputy governor on the issue.

The screenshot that appears to be an NTV Kenya post has been published here, here, here and here.

But is the screenshot and the quote accurate? We checked.


Fabricated NTV post

There are clear signs that the post in the screenshot has been digitally manipulated. One of them is that the text appears in bold, which is not usually the case with Facebook posts.

Furthermore, while mainstream media houses would likely have inserted quotation marks on a quote, this quote does not.

We looked for the post and photo on NTV Kenya’s verified Facebook page and came up empty. The quote has not been published by any mainstream media in Kenya and does not appear on the deputy governor's Facebook account.

We noted the screenshot originated from a Facebook account on 1 August. The account has distributed it across many Facebook groups with thousands of members. All signs point to a fabricated quote.

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