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Photo of fleeing Kenyan MP from 2018 Nairobi protest, not 2020 funeral

A photo shared on Facebook on 9 March 2020 shows Kenyan national assembly minority leader John Mbadi running past the camera with three other men running behind him.

The caption reads: “Suba MP John Mbadi forced to flee after youths threw water bottles when he was addressing mourners in Msabweni [sic]. Mbadi who demanded for the arrest and prosecution of DP William Ruto for scandal involving 40bn fake arms deal, was heckled and forced to leave the burial Midway, as other MPs shielded him from water bottles!”

Mbadi chairs the Orange Democratic Movement, the official opposition in Kenya. He is also a member of parliament for Suba South constituency, in Homa Bay county. William Ruto is Kenya’s deputy president.

Was the MP recently heckled at a funeral in Msambweni, a town near Mombasa in southeastern Kenya? 

Different clothes?

Mbadi did address mourners at the burial of Suleiman Dori, the former Msambweni member of parliament, in Kwale county on 9 March.

There are several videos of his speech at the funeral. 

But the striped light blue shirt he was wearing at the funeral is different to the off-white patterned shirt shown in the Facebook photo.

Photo old, taken during past protests

The photo was not taken at or after Dori’s burial.

A reverse image search reveals that the photo has been online since at least January 2018. It seems to have been taken during that month’s protests in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, by National Super Alliance MPs demanding the release of MP Tom Joseph Kajwang.

The photo was published by the Star newspaper on 31 January 2018. It’s captioned: “Suba MP John Mbadi runs for his life after anti-riot police officers threw teargas canisters outside Nairobi.” 

The photo of Mbadi on the run is two years old, and was taken in Nairobi, not Msambweni. – Dancan Bwire


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