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No, photo not of Kenya’s president, deputy meeting during political crisis – it’s from 2018

Police in Kenya used teargas and live bullets to disperse a protest by supporters of deputy president William Ruto in the Baringo county town of Kabarnet on 12 March 2020.

A few days earlier, members of parliament allied to Orange Democratic Movement opposition leader Raila Odinga vowed to impeach Ruto for corruption, a move criticised by the deputy president’s allies.

On 11 March it was reported that Ruto’s allies had accused Odinga of “hiding behind” president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The next day, 12 March, a photo of Kenyatta walking and talking with Ruto started doing the rounds on Facebook.

“After yesterday's happenings, the son of Jomo [Kenyatta] requested for a meeting with the son of Samoei [Ruto],” one captioned the photo. “Never joke with WSR [William Samoei Ruto] again! Someone panicked!”

Another wrote: “Thanks Jehovah you have answered our prayers. President Uhuru thanks for calling Deputy Ruto in State House today.”

Did Kenyatta and Ruto meet in the midst of this political crisis?

Photo taken in 2018

On 12 March, Kenyatta had public engagements with the Ethiopian president and the national emergency response committee. Ruto was not at either of these meetings. His verified Twitter account doesn’t record any event on the day.

A reverse image search shows the image was taken in August 2018, when Kenyatta was chairing a cabinet meeting.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired the Third Cabinet Meeting for 2018 today at State House, Nairobi,” the caption reads. – Dancan Bwire


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