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No, photo not of Kenyan county governor in hospital after attack

A Kenyan user shared a photo on Facebook which claims to show a county governor in hospital after he was attacked by political opponents. 

The caption says Alex Tolgos, governor of Elgeyo Marakwet county in the eastern part of Kenya, was attacked at a meeting he was leading about the Building Bridges Initiative report. 

The Building Bridges Initiative, or BBI, was set up to act on recommendations in a report by the Presidential Task Force on Building Bridges to Unity in October 2019. The taskforce was appointed by president Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2018.

The BBI report, unveiled by Kenyatta and former prime minister Raila Odinga on 27 November 2019, was meant to unite Kenyans by addressing their tribal, political, religious and economic differences.

“Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos admitted in Hospital after he sustained injuries when irate youth stormed Highlands Inn Hotel in Eldoret where BBi committee meeting was underway. Doctors say he is in stable condition,” the caption reads. 

Did Tolgos need medical attention after being attacked at a BBI meeting? We checked.

Photo of hepatitis B vaccination

A reverse image search makes clear the photo was taken on 15 January 2019 when the governor was vaccinated against hepatitis B.

In an article dated 17 January 2019 published by the Standard newspaper, the photo was captioned: “Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos gets a Hepatitis B jab at Matira Health Centre, Kapsowar Ward on Tuesday.”

A similar photo was also published by the Daily Nation on 28 January 2019 with a similar caption.

At the time, the Daily Nation reported that the health secretary Peter Tum said people would be immunised in Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot counties as hepatitis B had spread.

On Monday 3 February 2020 Tolgos refuted reports that the BBI meeting was disrupted, in a video on Facebook. There have also been no credible news reports about the alleged attack. – Dancan Bwire


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