Back to Africa Check

Snake caused chaos at Kenyan presidential hopeful Odinga’s final rally? No, photos unrelated

Messages circulating on Facebook claim that a snake disrupted the final campaign rally of presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who lost to William Ruto in Kenya’s 9 August 2022 election.

“Chaos at Kasarani Stadium after a snake slither its way through VIP Gate B moments after Raila Odinga arrived for his rally. Reports of several injured supporters have sufficed,” a typical version reads.

Kasarani stadium is a sports complex in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Ruto was declared president-elect on 15 August. Odinga has challenged the results in the supreme court.

The messages come with two photos as proof of the claim. One shows a snake slithering on well-cut grass. The other shows what seems to be a stampede of people. Some versions of the messages use a different second photo, of the Odinga rally. 

The claim has been made here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But did a snake really disrupt Odinga’s rally? And do the photos show the incident? We checked.

KenyaRally_False

Snake on UK golf course in 2014

A Google Lens reverse image search revealed that the photo of the snake was taken on a golf course in the UK eight years ago. 

It appears in an article on the website Kent Online, dated 10 August 2014. Here its caption reads: “The snake spotted on the 14th hole at Southern Valley Golf Course in Thong Lane, Gravesend.”

Stampede in Nairobi’s Kibera slum in 2020

A TinEye reverse image search of the photo of a stampede reveals that it was taken in 2020 by photographer Khalil Senosi of Associated Press (AP). The photo has been flipped.

On the AP website, the photo’s caption reads: “Residents desperate for a planned distribution of food for those suffering under Kenya's coronavirus-related movement restrictions push through a gate and create a stampede, causing police to fire tear gas at a district office in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.”

We reviewed footage of Odinga’s rally and there was no stampede.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.