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No, photo of Kenya’s deputy president manipulated – not watching prosecutions boss ordering major corruption arrests

The fight against corruption in Kenya reared its head on the morning of 22 July 2019, when director of public prosecutions Noordin Haji called for the arrest of senior government officials for corruption related to two multibillion-dollar dam projects.

The named officials included finance minister Henry Rotich.

Hours later, Rotich and other treasury officials handed themselves over to police and were taken into custody.

Soon after the story broke, a photo appeared on Twitter and Facebook showing deputy president William Ruto standing in a room, looking at a TV with an image of Haji on the screen. The photo was also shared on multiple WhatsApp groups.

“How Ruto is watching the news about Rotich arrest,” one Twitter user captioned the photo.

Does the photo really show what happened on the morning of 22 July? 

We checked.

Original picture showed auditor general on the screen

A reverse image search reveals that the photo has been altered. The original photo was tweeted on the night of Sunday 21 July by Emoo FM, a Kalenjin-language radio station.

In the original, the TV screen shows auditor general Edward Ouko – not prosecutions boss Haji – appearing on K24 TV. K24 TV and Emoo FM are both owned by Mediamax.

“Have you tuned in to @K24Tv? DP @WilliamsRuto is tuned and will shortly be live on #RutoOnPunchline with @AnneKiguta,” the radio station tweeted with the photo at 9:26 pm on 21 July. 

Ruto was about to be interviewed by the station, and was watching Ouko on the screen.

Beware of ‘doctored image’

Soon after the modified image was published, K24TV debunked it on its Twitter account. 

“#Factcheck: An image of the DP Ruto that was taken on Sunday, during his interview on K24 TV's Punchline has been doctored to appear as if it was taken when DPP ordered the arrest of CS Rotich on Monday.”

The TV station clarified that the “correct image shows outgoing Auditor-General Edward Ouko on the TV screen”. – Vincent Ng’ethe


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