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Viral graphic and letter claiming Kenyan politician Martha Karua has been summoned for hate speech are fake

IN SHORT: A viral graphic and letter claiming that Kenyan politician Martha Karua was summoned for hate speech just days after addressing a political conference are making the rounds on social media. But they are both fabricated.

A graphic and a letter claiming that Kenyan politician Martha Karua has been summoned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) are circulating on Facebook.

The NCIC is responsible for preventing ethnically motivated violence in Kenya.

Karua is a veteran politician, former justice minister and current leader of the Narc Kenya political party. She was Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga’s running mate in the 2022 presidential election.

The graphic is attributed to Kenyan news outlet the Star and reads: “NCIC summons Martha Karua over Ruto ni Nyoka remark made at Limuru 3 meeting.”

The letter carries the NCIC logo and what appears to be the signature of its chairperson Dr Samuel Kobia. It claims that Karua insulted the Kalenjin, a community in the Rift Valley region of Kenya, and Kenyan president William Ruto. 

Both the graphic and the letter suggest that Karua called the Kenyan president a “nyoka”, Kiswahili for “snake”. They claim she made the comment during a high-level political conference called “Limuru 3”, which brought together some leaders from the Mt Kenya region. 

Limuru is a town in central Kenya, about 45 minutes from the capital Nairobi. Similar political conferences in the past were “Limuru 1” and “Limuru 2”. 

When used in a political context in Kenya, “Mt Kenya” usually refers to the communities living in the central region of Kenya, specifically the Kikuyu, Meru and Embu.

The letter and graphic have also been posted here and here. (Note: See more instances listed at the end of this report.)

But are they legit? We checked.

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Fake graphic and letter

Summoning Karua would have attracted the attention of the local media. But there has been no credible media coverage of the claim that Karua has been summoned, an indication that the information is false. 

The Star usually posts news graphics on its social media pages. We scoured its Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) accounts and landed on the graphic stamped “FAKE”.

The media house said: “This post is not associated with us in any way and should be treated as FAKE. Get the real copy on our official verified pages.”

We also searched the NCIC’s Facebook and X accounts for the letter and found it stamped fake.

“We dissociate from the following information making rounds!” the commission wrote.

The graphic and the letter should be disregarded.

The fake letter was also posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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