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Yes, Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is on the ‘far right’ of ACP conference group photo

Was the person on the “far right” of a photograph at an international summit correctly identified?

Kenya recently hosted a summit that brought together delegates from the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States. The summit was held in Nairobi on 9 and 10 December 2019.

Images of a group photo of leaders taken at the conference emerged, posted on what looked like Citizen TV’s Facebook page. Users expressed disbelief that the deputy president of Kenya would be positioned on the far right of an official photograph at a conference hosted by Kenya, and read politics into the move. In a politics-mad country like Kenya, even the physical positioning of its leaders is closely scrutinised. 

“Citizen TV just planted a seed of hate there. Seen it?” queried one user. “Sugoi President,” said another referring to the deputy president’s rural home, and highlighting a person he believed to be Ruto. “Faaaaarrrrr Right!!” pointed out a third.  

Who was the person on the far right of the picture? We took a closer look at the image.

State House watermark

A look at Citizen TV’s Facebook page shows the TV station did indeed post a group photo of heads of state and government at the summit. “

President Uhuru Kenyatta at the 9th African Caribbean and Pacific Summit of Heads of State and Government at the KICC. Also in attendance was Deputy President William Ruto (far right),” read the caption.

The photo shared by Citizen TV has a watermark used by State House, which is the seat of Kenya’s Presidency, so our first stop was the State House Kenya Facebook page. There we found a photograph that looked identical to the one shared by Citizen TV.

A smaller version of the photograph was posted with a statement published by the ACP website on the first day of the conference, but the extreme right of the picture is not included, making it impossible to identify the person on the right.  The website has a link to the Flickr account of the ACP, which did not have the group photo. 

We searched Flickr using the keywords “ACP” and “Nairobi”, and found a different version of the group photo from Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s Flickr account, also dated 9 December 2019.  This image is large enough to clearly identify William Ruto on the extreme right side of the group photo – Vincent Ng’ethe.

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