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Photo of police vehicles spotted ‘heading to Eldoret’ ahead of Kenyan elections? No, photo taken in 2021, caption misleading

An image circulating on Facebook in July 2022 shows a convoy of vehicles, apparently preparing to transport security personnel.

Kenyan Facebook users who posted it claimed the vehicles were headed for Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu county ahead of Kenya’s 9 August 2022 general elections.

 “These police vehicles were spotted leading to eldoret town as opposed to previous elections when you could see them to Kisumu,” reads one caption.

Eldoret is the hometown of Kenyan deputy president William Ruto who was declared president-elect on 15 August. 

There have been violent clashes between the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin communities living in the county in the past, notably after the disputed 2007 general election.

Kisumu county is thought of as the political backyard of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, Ruto’s main rival in the elections.

The county has also experienced politically motivated violence in the past during elections.

Both counties were listed as areas with high likelihood of violence before, during and after the August elections by Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission. This is an institution meant to prevent ethnically motivated violence.

The social media users claimed the heavy security deployment to a region just before elections was a sign that the region’s candidate was about to lose. 

But does the image show police deploying to Eldoret town? We checked.

PoliceKenya_False

Photo shows security personnel sent to Laikipia county in 2021

A reverse image search revealed the photo was posted on 9 September 2021 by Kenyan newspaper, the People Daily. The security personnel pictured had been sent to calm an unrest that had erupted in Laikipia county, east of Eldoret.

It was also posted by a Kenyan media company on 11 September the same year and captioned: “A team of GSU officers deployed in Laikipia county on Thursday ahead of CS Fred Matiang'i visit.”

The photo is from 2021. It has nothing to do with Kenya’s August 2022 elections.

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