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UDA memo authorising payment to Twitter users for ‘online services’ during Kenya’s elections? No, document fake

“UDA TWITTER PAYROLL,” reads the subject line on what looks like an internal memo from Kenya’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, circulating on Facebook.

The document, addressed to the finance director, is dated 24 August 2022. It says: “Kindly approve payment for online services rendered between August 9th - August 22nd 2022.” 

It then lists five Twitter user accounts, each to be paid thousands of US dollars. 

The document appears to be signed by Hussein Mohamed, the UDA campaign’s head of communications, and Veronica Nduati Maina, the party’s secretary general.

It has been posted here, here, here, here, here and here on Facebook.

Kenya’s general elections were held on 9 August. The country’s electoral commission has since declared deputy president and UDA party leader William Ruto the president-elect. 

Kenya’s 2022 elections season has been characterised by reports of influencers being paid to push hashtags and in some cases promote misinformation, according to the Media Council of Kenya, an independent national institution.

So is this really an internal UDA memo authorising payment to Twitter influencers?


‘Masters of forgeries and lies’ 

On 24 August, Mohamed posted the memo on his Twitter page, stamped “fake” in red. 

Hinting at the reports of widespread election propaganda, Mohamed captioned it: “Desperation; by the masters of forgeries and lies!”

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