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Photo from 2019 used as false evidence of house built for family of late men's marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum

IN SHORT: Users claim that a photo widely circulated online shows the house built by the Kenyan government for Kiptum. But it’s not, it’s a steel-framed house built by an Australian construction company.

On 11 February 2024, men’s marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a car accident in Kenya aged 24. He was buried on 23 February.

In honour of the Kenyan, who was mourned around the world, the country’s president ordered a house to be built before Kiptum’s funeral – seven days away. 

This was after his family said that Kiptum had been building a family home, and had promised to construct one for his father.

It is in this context that posts on Facebook and X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, on 19 February showed what they claimed was Kiptum’s house under construction.

“Kelvin Kiptum’s family house on the verge of completion. Day 3,” reads one caption.

“The Kelvin Kiptum family house is in its final stage, with international engineers currently working on it,” reads another.

They include a photo of a building, seemingly made entirely of steel, still under construction. 

The photo has also been shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Together they attracted thousands of responses. 

But does the photo in the claims show the progress on Kiptum’s house, especially as it would be built with taxpayers’ money? We checked.


Image from Australian-based construction company

TinEye, a reverse image search tool, revealed that the photo first appeared online on 6 November 2019. The image originally came from an Australian construction company called GNL Frame & Truss

Actual pictures of Kiptum’s house under construction are available online here, here and here. They look different from the one in the photo circulating on social media.

The finished house was given to Kiptum’s widow, Asenath Cheruto, on the day of his funeral. It also bears no resemblance to the house in question.

President William Ruto also promised to build Cheruto another house, give her a job and KSh5 million (about US$34,000).

The claim that the house in the circulating photo is Kiptum’s house under construction is false.

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