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Photo of Kenya’s former PM Raila Odinga next to helicopter from 5 years ago, not 2020

Does a photo of Raila Odinga, Kenya’s former prime minister, show him arriving at a senator’s thanksgiving celebration in June 2020?

Margaret Kamar represents Uasin Gishu County in Kenya’s senate and was recently elected deputy speaker of the chamber on 2 June 2020, after her predecessor, Kithure Kindiki, was removed from the position. 

Kindiki is allied to Deputy President William Ruto, whose supporters have been removed from leadership positions in the legislature. Ruto and Odinga are political rivals.  

A post on the Facebook page the Daily Statesman shows Odinga next to a helicopter. The headline of the caption to the photo reads: “RAILA ODINGA ARRIVES IN UASIN GISHU COUNTY WHERE HE's SET TO PRESIDE OVER SENATOR KAMAR'S THANKSGIVING CEREMONY.” 

We checked when and where the photo of Odinga was taken.

Tour of Taita Taveta county in 2015

In the photo, Odinga is dressed in a light-coloured coat, blue shirt, grey trousers and red tie, and the helicopter’s registration is 5Y-JWJ (Note: Aircraft nationality marks for Kenyan civilian aircraft begin with “5Y”).

A Google reverse image search shows the photo was taken in August 2015. The website Kenya Today published this photo of Odinga emerging from a helicopter, as well as other photos from the event where Odinga is dressed exactly as in the first photo. 

According to the Kenya Today article, Odinga was on a tour of Taita Taveta county, southeast of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and bordering Tanzania. Kenya Today does not credit the photos to any photographer. 

The photos were also published on Odinga’s official Facebook page on 14 August 2015. 

The weekend visit to Taita Taveta county was reported in the Kenyan media at the time. The photo does not show Odinga arriving at a party in Uasin Gishu county northwest of Nairobi in 2020. - Vincent Ng’ethe


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