‘I know who murdered Mutula Kilonzo’ headline from fake Standard front page

A number of Facebook users in Kenya have shared what looks like the front page of the 14 November 2020 edition of the Saturday Standard newspaper.

The image shows the headline: “Gicheru to ICC: I know who murdered Mutula Kilonzo.”

Below the headline is a summary that says lawyer Paul Gicheru told the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands, details about the controversial death of former Makueni county senator Mutula Kilonzo.

Kilonzo’s son has also claimed that his death is linked to the ICC case involving president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, further fueling speculations, particularly by Ruto’s critics. 

Gicheru surrendered to the court in early November 2020, five years after it issued an arrest warrant for him, over alleged witness interference.

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, shows the image has been shared many times, attracting thousands of reactions. 

But was this what the newspaper reported on 14 November? We checked.

Front cover fake

The edition of the newspaper published on 14 November showed a different front page story, about education cabinet secretary Prof George Magoha.

The headline was: “Taming Magoha”. The page featured a large photo of Magoha and not the photos of deputy president William Ruto, Kilonzo and lawyer Gicheru in the doctored version.

The Standard newspaper also tweeted that the front page shared on social media was fake. – Dancan Bwire

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