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No, video of large crowd on major Nairobi highway is from August 2022, not Kenyan opposition protests in March 2023

IN SHORT: Videos of demonstrations in Kenya on 20 March 2023 have been circulating on social media, but not all of them are related to the actual event.

A video of a large crowd on a major highway has been circulating on social media, claiming to show protesters during the opposition-led 20 March 2023 demonstrations in Kenya.

The unsteady video has been shared on different platforms, but with the same claim. In one post, the text accompanying the video reads: “A sea or humanity snaking through Thika Superhighway enroute KICC for Nairobi shutdown.” 

The Thika highway is a major artery linking the capital Nairobi to the central Kenyan hinterland. 

Another caption reads: “Happening now at Thika Road. #Maandamano.” “Maandamano” is Kiswahili for demonstration.

Another one of several such videos on Facebook claims: “Maandamano ya Azimio Thika road.” This translates as: “Azimio demonstrations on Thika Road.” 

This one on TikTok is captioned: “Thika tuko site. Jeshi la Baba.” This can be translated to: “Thika, we’re on site. Baba’s army.” 

“Baba” - Kiswahili for “father” - is a term of respect used by many supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga. The video of these specific claims has been viewed over 200,000 times and retweeted over 150 times on Twitter alone.

The implication of the video is that there is massive popular support for the protests..

Kenya held a general election on 9 August 2022, after which William Ruto was declared the winner of the presidential vote by the country's electoral commission.

But even after the result was upheld by the supreme court, Odinga, a veteran politician whom Ruto defeated, rejected it.

Odinga has been leading protests since 20 March against the high cost of living and the results of the election, among other grievances.

But does this video show a group of people demonstrating in Kenya during the 20 March protests? We checked.


Video is from August 2022

A reverse image search of screenshots extracted from the video led us to the same video, but posted on 6 August 2022. The video is therefore at least seven months old.

It appears to have been filmed on the day of the final campaign rally of the Odinga-led Azimio-One Kenya coalition at Nairobi's Kasarani stadium.

The crowd in the video is walking along Thika Road towards the nearby stadium. 

This is one of a number of videos purporting to show protesters on 20 March that have been shown to be false.

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