Tweet supporting Kenyan deputy president’s breakaway group from imposter account

A screenshot of what seems to be a tweet by Kenyan politician Otiende Amollo, MP for the Rarieda constituency in Siaya county, was shared on Facebook on 19 June 2020.

It reads: “Whatever Tangatanga are using must be stopped. Less than 24hrs, #Jubilee_Asili was formed and it’s now more popular than @WiperMovement and @TheKanuParty_Ke combined.”

Jubilee Asili is a new political grouping formed by deputy president William Ruto and his allies – a movement known as “tangatanga”. The grouping opened offices in Nairobi on 18 June but is not a registered political party.

Local media reported that the offices were opened after the ruling Jubilee Party purged Ruto allies from senior government positions.

The tweet is saying that less than 24 hours after the Jubilee Asili offices were opened, the grouping had become more popular than two other political parties – the Wiper Democratic Movement and Kenya African National Union – combined.

Amollo, a member of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party led by Raila Odinga, has been deeply critical of Ruto.

So did he really tweet this?

Imposter account opened May 2020

The tweet itself is real, Africa Check found using an advanced Twitter search. But it was posted on an imposter account, not on Amollo’s official account. Almost everything on the fake resembles the official account, but there are important differences.

A free tool that shows when a person joined Twitter reveals that while Amollo signed up on 14 January 2013, the imposter account was only opened on 13 May 2020.

Since 2013 Amollo has tweeted nearly 3,000 times, attracting more than 310,000 followers. The fake has 83 tweets so far, and around 250 followers.

At face value the two Twitter handles @OAmollo and @OAmoIIo appear the same. But looking closely, the imposter account uses capital I twice in place of lowercase L. In san-serif typefaces, the uppercase “I” and lowercase “l” look the same.

If both handles are put in capital letters, the real account is @OAMOLLO and the fake account @OAMOIIO.

The legislator has warned his followers that the fake account is not associated with him. – Dancan Bwire


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