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Photo of AU Commission chair candidate Raila Odinga meeting with incumbent Faki Mahamat is from 2022, not 2024

IN SHORT: Kenya’s former prime minister Odinga is vying to succeed Faki Mahamat as the powerful chair of the African Union’s secretariat. But a photo of the two meeting is at least two years older than being claimed.

Raila Odinga, Kenya’s opposition leader and former prime minister, is in the running for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC).

The commission is the administrative body of the African Union, overseeing the day-to-day running of the 55-member bloc. It is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

It is chaired by Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad, who is serving his second and final four-year term. The AUC chair wields considerable influence in the African political landscape.

In the context of the succession race, a photo of Odinga meeting Mahamat was posted on Facebook.

The caption of the photo, dated 28 February 2024, reads: “Raila Odinga met with outgoing AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat yesterday! If AU wants to serve its purpose, it requires the right person at the right time; Raila Odinga is that person … ”

The same photo and claim have also been published on X (formerly Twitter) here.

If the meeting took place after Odinga threw his hat into the AUC ring, as claimed, it would be a politically symbolic nod from Mahamat to Odinga’s campaign.

We looked into when the photo was taken and here’s what we found.


Photo from 2022

The photo first appeared online on 18 May 2022, according to a Google reverse image search.

Our search led us to the same photo, published on the same day by the online news outlet reported that the photo was taken when Odinga and his wife Ida hosted Mahamat at their residence in Kisumu, western Kenya.

The reverse image search also turned up a post by Ida on X on 18 May 2022.

“We had a great evening and were pleased to host the African Union Commission Chair @AUC_MoussaFaki and other delegates for dinner at our residence in Kisumu,” Ida wrote.

According to a Nation Africa report, the meeting included discussions on the empowerment of the girl child in Africa. The meeting followed Mahamat’s attendance at the 9th edition of the Africities Summit in Kisumu.

There is no credible evidence that Mahamat met Odinga after he announced his candidacy for the AUC chair in 2024. The photo used to prove this is from 2022.

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