Back to Africa Check

No, white man not arrested for feeding hawkers to pet python in Zambia

A post on Facebook claims that a white man was arrested in Zambia for luring hawkers into his house and feeding them to his pet snake.

The post includes two photos, one of a huge snake and the other of a handcuffed white man being escorted by two uniformed police officers. The post says neighbours alerted the police that they  “only see girls go into his house and don't see them come out”.

“When the police went in to verify, they saw this huge python in one of his rooms,” the post reads. “On further investigations, the white man confessed that he goes out to pick the street hawkers and pays them for sex only to feed them to his pet the python.” 

The story was also posted on a Kenyan Facebook page and shared widely. It was published on a Kenyan Facebook group page with over a million members and appears on a football group page.

Bloggers have also carried the story.

Users identify Kenyan police uniforms

But Facebook users expressed doubts about it, pointing out that the uniforms in the one photo are worn by administration police in Kenya – not Zambia.

The photo of the handcuffed white man was published in Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper in 2013. He’s identified as Baha Ukes, a New Zealand national who was arrested in the Kenyan town of Meru in November 2013 on suspicion of being involved in a child trafficking and pornography syndicate.

And reverse image search for the photo of the giant snake finds many copies, but none linked to Zambia or the arrest of Ukes. It was first published online in 2014, on a Vietnamese website.

The post has also been checked by Lead Stories and found to be false. – Dancan Bwire


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.