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No, viral photo not of crowd being dispersed outside home of Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge

IN SHORT: A widely circulated photo, which shows an area filled with smoke, was taken in 2020 during the funeral of Kenyan musician Abenny Jachiga. It doesn’t show people protesting outside the home of the marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge in February 2024.

On 11 February 2024, men's marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a car accident in Kenya aged 24.

On 12 February, a user on X (formerly Twitter) posted a photo and claimed that police had to disperse a crowd outside the home of Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge. 

Kiptum dethroned two-time Olympic champion Kipchoge as the world record holder in October 2023. The relationship between the two men has been in the spotlight ever since.

“Police in Eldoret were forced to use teargas to disperse the crowd that was gathering in Eliud Kipchoge's home after he was linked with the sudden death of Kelvin Kiptum,” the post reads.

The photo, which appears to have been taken from a vehicle, shows an area filled with smoke, but there is no crowd in the frame.

The photo was also posted with the same claim here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here on Facebook, and on X here and here.

But does it show a crowd being disbanded outside Kipchoge’s home? We checked.


Photo old and unrelated

A Google reverse image search found that the photo was first shared by Robert Alai on his X account on 12 June 2020. Alai was elected to the Nairobi county assembly in 2022.

His post, which included three photos, was captioned: “Mourners have blocked the burial of Musician Abenny Jachiga telling them govt that Kisumu is not Siaya and nobody will be buried like a dog in Kisumu. Police forced to lob teargas to disperse angry mourners at the home of the musician.”

Some of the photos from Alai’s post were also used in an article on a blog linked to the politician. The article said angry mourners were protesting against the hasty burial of musician Abenny Jachiga due to the government's strict Covid-19 regulations.

The mourners demanded that Jachiga be given a funeral befitting his status in society. Police responded by firing tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The photo was taken in 2020 and shows the chaos at the funeral of Jachiga, not a crowd at Kipchoge's home.

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