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Yes, Kenyan ministerial nominee Davis Chirchir is on Facebook, but beware of imposter accounts and fake pages with sensational posts

IN SHORT: Kenyan politician Davis Chirchir is becoming more prominent since new president William Ruto nominated him as his energy minister. But fame and influence has also meant increased impersonation and fake social media accounts falsely posting in his name.

Former Kenyan energy minister Davis Chirchir worked as chief of staff in the office of then-deputy president William Ruto.  

After Ruto was sworn in as president of Kenya on 13 September 2022, he nominated Chirchir as the energy minister in his cabinet. Chirchir was vetted on 18 October in the national assembly, and at time of writing is waiting for parliamentary approval of his nomination. 

As Chirchir has become more prominent, some accounts and pages on Facebook have started posting content in his name. 

We found this page with at least 20,000 followers, this one with over 89,000 followers, and this one with 88,000 followers. All these pages have Chirchir’s photo and name. 

The pages published sensational posts, including announcing his “plan to remarry” as a show of gratitude to some voters, asking Kenyans to “embrace polygamy”, and even pledging to cut the high fuel prices in the country.

We also found dozens of accounts featuring his photo and name. 

Do any of these accounts or pages belong to Chirchir? We checked. 

Chirchir_False

Changing page identities

One of the pages was created on 6 May 2022 and in its page transparency section we can see it has changed names multiple times since then. It first had the name “Linet Toto Bomet woman rep”.  On 10 June the name changed to “Prof Wajackoyo”. On 10 September it was changed again to “Hon Davis Chirchir”, before changing again to “Davis Chirchir Energy CS” on 8 October. 

Another page was created on 15 February 2019 with the name “Seventh day adventist youth worldwide”. It changed its name to “Davies chirchir” on 12 August 2022, and settled on “Davis Chirchir” on 24 August. 

These changing identifiers are often an indication that the page is not genuine. A real person, particularly a public figure, is unlikely to change the name of their Facebook page multiple times.

‘Those are not my accounts’

In the reviews section of one of the pages, a number of people point out that the page is fake.

Africa Check contacted Chirchir and he told Africa Check that he had seen many fake accounts using his name and photo, but none belonged to him. 

“Those are not my accounts. I am Davis Kimutai on Facebook and I don’t post,” Chirchir said in a text message.

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

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