No, Kenya’s first lady Margaret Kenyatta not giving away cash – fake Facebook page

A post on Facebook page “First Lady Margaret Kenyatta” claims Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta’s wife is giving “each Kenyan citizen” KSh 20,000 as she celebrates her birthday. 

The post was published on 28 October 2020 with a photo of Margaret Kenyatta.

The post asks Kenyans to send through their “number and receive your ksh20,000 right now” via M-Pesa mobile money transfer and tells them to hurry as “the offer ends up within a week”. 

Africa Check has in the past debunked hoaxes targeting Kenyatta. Is this another one? We checked.

Clues post fake

The post is sloppily written, using uppercase and lowercase letters haphazardly, with incorrect grammar. Such errors seem unlikely on an official social media account of a public figure like the first lady.  

Other than this 28 October post the Facebook page has in the past shared other money giveaway posts promising Covid-19 relief funds. And on 12 November it claimed it was the president’s son’s birthday.

The page has not posted about any of the first lady’s official engagements or any government programmes, as one would expect. And the page was only created on 29 May 2020, despite Uhuru Kenyatta having been in power since 2013.

These are all clues that the page might be false.

Fake Facebook account

A search on Facebook led us to an official, verified account called Office of the First Lady Kenya. This page, unlike the one offering cash giveaways, has been verified by Facebook with a blue tick

Neither here nor on the first lady’s official Twitter account are there any posts announcing any giveaways to celebrate her birthday.

The official Facebook account was created on 29 July 2013 and has 260,465 followers compared to the much newer account’s 2,534 followers.

And last of all, the first lady’s birthday is on 8 April, not 28 October as claimed in the post on the fake page. Kenyatta publicly shared images of how she celebrated her 50th birthday in London in the UK in 2014. 

The post announcing the KSh 20,000 giveaway was shared on a fake page out to scam unsuspecting Kenyans by collecting their personal details. To help protect yourself online, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them. – Grace Gichuhi

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