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No, viral ‘tweet’ criticising Kenyan president William Ruto not from fiery lawyer Miguna Miguna

IN SHORT: Fake tweets are becoming increasingly common in Kenya. A tweet purporting to be from the controversial lawyer has gone viral. But it is fake.

A screenshot of a tweet criticising president William Ruto, apparently from the Twitter account of the plain-speaking Kenyan lawyer Miguna Miguna, has been circulating on Facebook since July 2023.

False_MigunaMiguna

The text in the screenshot reads: “It's now evident who the enemy of the people. @WilliamsRuto was never an option for Kenya and having Rigathi Gachagua as his Deputy makes it even worser, A guy who can't chair a room full of chiefs How then can He chair foreign delegates or diplomats. #rejectRutoRigathi.”

Rigathi Gachagua is the deputy president of Kenya. 

The screenshot was published here, here, here, here, here and here

Ruto’s bid to increase tax revenues as he tries to wean the country off expensive debt has galvanised his critics, with nationwide protests led by the opposition.

But did Miguna, a well-known and controversial political commentator and lawyer, tweet criticism of the president and his deputy? We checked.

Red flags point to a fake tweet

Africa Check identified red flags that indicate the tweet in the screenshot was fabricated. It does not show the number of times the tweet has been viewed, which has been a Twitter feature since January 2023. 

The screenshot says “quote tweets” instead of “quotes”, which is the tweet wording. 

We compared the screenshot with an authentic post from Miguna’s Twitter profile and found that it uses a 24-hour format on its timestamp, while Miguna’s tweets are in the 12-hour system.

The date stamp on Miguna’s tweets on his timeline shows the month-date-year – but the screenshot shows the date-month,-year.

We searched Miguna’s verified Twitter account to confirm if such a tweet was posted on his timeline on 12 July 2023, but couldn’t find it.

On 17 July, Miguna posted the screenshot on his official Twitter account with the word “fake” stamped on it.

“Kuzimia: Stop creating FAKE things in my name. These FAKERIES won’t help you! Fellow Kenyans: Always check my TL and verify my Tweets,” he wrote.

The screenshot circulating on social media is fake and should be ignored

Note: Twitter’s owner Elon Musk rebranded the platform in July and changed its name to “X”. 

 

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