Kenya’s universities only to open in September 2021? Tweet from fake, deleted account

A screenshot posted on Facebook shows a tweet which appears to be by Kenya’s education minister, George Magoha.

The tweet reads: “I’m hearing Magoha this, Magoha that … University students you can mock me the way you want but when I decide to push the dates to September 2021 I wish you won’t make noise.”

Did the cabinet minister write this?

Planned openings, closings of schools criticised

Following the closing of Kenyan schools on 15 March 2020 as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, the education ministry announced on 7 July 2020 that while “all basic education learning institutions” would stay closed, tertiary institutions would reopen in September 2020.

This was widely criticised and on 30 July the ministry rescinded its decision and directed that all learning institutions would only reopen in January 2021.

But on 7 August Magoha told the national assembly’s education committee schools might not even open in January 2021. He did not specifically mention tertiary institutions. 

This latest announcement has attracted even more online speculation. The tweet was shared as evidence of Magoha’s apparent resolve to keep schools closed for as long as he wishes. 

Tweet from deleted account

We searched for the tweet on Google, but found the tweet and the Twitter accountno longer exist”. 

According to Twitter, the message “This account doesn’t exist” is shown when the account owner has deactivated the account. The account with the handle @profGmagoha has been deleted.

The cabinet secretary does not have an official Twitter account. When the education ministry tweets about him, they don’t tag a specific Twitter account, but instead mention him by name. 

There is no evidence that Magoha made a statement like the one attributed to him in the tweet shared on Facebook. – Dancan Bwire


 

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