No, Rachel Ruto not recruiting Facebook users to distribute hand sanitisers in Kenya

A post on the Facebook page “Rachel Ruto” claimed that “250 people are wanted for distribution of free government sanitizers”. It added: “Hit my inbox.”

Rachel Ruto is the wife of William Ruto, Kenya’s deputy president.

But suspiciously, the post was suddenly deleted from the page on 24 April.

Was Rachel Ruto looking for 250 people to distribute free hand sanitisers from the government?

Sanitiser shortage

As in many countries, the first case of coronavirus in Kenya led to a run on hand sanitisers, which can help protect against infection. This led to a shortage.

Some supermarkets and stores took advantage, hiking prices to a level that many people could not afford.

Washing your hands often with soap and water is just as effective at killing any virus that might be on your hands. But hand sanitiser – or alcohol-based hand rub – is a good alternative when you’re away from home or don’t have clean water available.

Government officials to distribute sanitisers

The handle of the “Rachel Ruto” Facebook account is @Rachel-Ruto-102946724641572. It was only created on 21 February 2020, and has about 400 followers.

The official account of the deputy president’s wife is @RachelRutoKenya. It was created on 7 June 2013 and has more than 270,000 followers.

The post was from a fake account.

On 15 April 2020 Rachel Ruto called out fake accounts using her name, including the one with the message about hand sanitisers.

On 27 March Nzioka Waita, president Uhuru Kenyatta’s chief of staff, announced that free hand sanitisers would be distributed across the country.

The distribution is being overseen by government officials at both the county and national level, according to a press release dated 1 April. – Grace Gichuhi


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