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Ruto now supports Building Bridges Initiative? No, front page of Kenya’s Star newspaper photoshopped

“I will support BBI, Ruto says,” reads the front page headline of what seems to be the 22 October 2020 edition of the Star, a Kenyan newspaper. 

A subhead adds “Deputy President William Ruto changes tact and declares support for the BBI” above a photo of Ruto.

The BBI is the Building Bridges Initiative, set up after the “handshake” truce between president Uhuru Kenyatta and his opposition rival Raila Odinga in 2018. The BBI includes a taskforce to find ways of addressing political, ethnic, social and economic divisions in Kenya.

Its first report was released in October 2019. A second report was handed over to Kenyatta and Odinga on 21 October 2020. 

Ruto and his allies have been critical of the report, claiming it is only meant to create positions for the political elite. The deputy president is running for the 2022 presidential elections.

The Star front page has been widely shared on Facebook. But did the paper really report that Ruto had changed his mind about the BBI? We checked.

‘Real vs fake’

The Star has posted the front page of its 22 October edition on its verified Facebook page, and it shows a very different headline.

The real headline reads: “Sweeteners in Uhuru, Raila BBI referendum deal.” The summary adds: “Taskforce recommends creation of Prime Minister and two deputies.” The photo shows Uhuru and Odinga holding a copy of the second BBI report.

The Star also posted its real front page on Twitter next to the photoshopped version, stamped “FAKE NEWS” in red.

“Real VS Fake!” the paper tweeted. – Dancan Bwire


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