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Raila beaten in Bungoma? Old photo from 2016 Nairobi protests

A Facebook user shared a photo claiming that it showed Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga shortly after he was beaten up while promoting the Building Bridges Initiative report.

“Raila beaten to pulp and forced to denounce BBI nonsense in Bungoma,” part of the caption reads. Bungoma county is in western Kenya. 

In the photo, Odinga is sandwiched between two men, and appears to be running.

The BBI report was set up after the “handshake” truce between then-political rivals president Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga in 2018

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, reveals the post has been published at least 15 times across different groups, attracting 663 reactions.

But does the photo show Odinga after being beaten in Bungoma county? We checked.

Photo old, taken in 2016

There were no reports of political violence in local media on 2 December 2020, the day the photo was posted. 

On 2 December, Odinga indicated on his verified Facebook page that he was in Murang’a county, northeast of the capital Nairobi and more than 400 kilometers from Bungoma.

A reverse image search shows the photo was published by various media houses and websites in 2016. 

The photo shows Odinga in Nairobi in 2016, running away from teargas during an opposition protest calling for electoral reforms in Kenya. – Dancan Bwire


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