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Viral graphic quoting Kenyan opposition politician Musyoka denouncing Azimio coalition protests is fake

IN SHORT: Fake news graphics are more and more common on Kenyan social media. A graphic quoting opposition politician Kalonzo Musyoka about the protests called for by Raila Odinga is also fabricated.

A graphic circulating on Facebook in March 2023 attributes a quote to Kalonzo Musyoka, a prominent Kenyan opposition politician and the party leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement.

In the graphic, Musyoka is quoted as saying that he will not be participating in  anti-government protests organised by the opposition.

“I would like to distance myself from maandamano. My people have suffered enough under selfish individuals and I don't want to see them fall into that trap again,” the quote in the graphic reads. “Maandamano” is the Kiswahili word for “protests”.

The graphic includes a photo of Musyoka and the logo of Kenyans.co.ke, a news website in Kenya.

The Wiper Democratic Movement is one of the parties in the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition, led by Raila Odinga. The coalition lost the 9 August 2022 election to incumbent president William Ruto. Odinga however rejected the results and has said Ruto's government is illegitimate.

He led countrywide protests on 20 March to force Ruto’s government to address the high cost of living and ensure there is “inclusivity” in the reconstitution of Kenya's electoral commission, among other grievances. He has said the protests will continue weekly.

The graphic was published here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. But is it legit and is the quote on it accurate? We checked.

Musyoka_Fake

Graphic and quote fake

The graphic can’t be found on the Kenyans.co.ke Facebook and Twitter pages. We looked for the quote on Musyoka’s Facebook and Twitter pages and also came up empty.

Paloma Gatabaki, communications lead for Musyoka, dismissed the graphic as fake in a tweet on 18 March

The tweet reads: “Our attention has been drawn to this image circulating in social media using Kenyans.co.ke frame. This is FAKE NEWS! Kalonzo Musyoka stance is clear and unequivocal: Lower the cost of living and end electoral malpractice. No amount of intimidation will alter our stand.” 

Musyoka’s verified Twitter handle retweeted Gatabaki’s tweet.

The graphic is fake.

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