NTV Kenya digital card on power blackout is fake

By Eunice Omollo

Only hours remain before Kenyans vote on 9 August 2022, but we continue checking social media for false information.

During Kenya’s presidential debate held on 26th July 2022, some areas experienced power blackouts. At the time, William Ruto, Kenya’s deputy president was answering questions from moderators alone, his main rival, Raila Odinga, having decided to miss the debate.

Ruto is leading the United Democratic Alliance and the Kenya Kwanza coalition of parties. Odinga, Kenya’s former prime minister, leads the Azimio la Umoja coalition of parties.

The power outage led to an uproar on social media under the hashtags  #KPLC  and #PresidentialDebate2022.

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company,  KPLC sent out a statement outlining the reason behind the power outage :

 “ At 8:12pm, we experienced a system disturbance at the Kisumu – Muhoroni high voltage transmission power line that tripped several power circuits and affected power generation from Muhoroni Gas Turbine Station and Turkwell Hydropower Station,” the statement read in part.

 Later a digital card purportedly created by NTV Kenya circulated on social media. The television channel apparently claimed that an engineer had been arrested for switching off the main power grid during the presidential debate . The card spread widely on social media.

KPLC engineer Eric Kibet arrested by DCI agentsin Chebimiet Elgeyo Marakwet on allegations of  switching off the main grid in an attempt to have UDA blame the president and ” the deep state” for the failure of the power grid during the second presidential debate,” the card dated 26 July 2022 stated. 

Spelling mistakes are usually a sign that information could be false. “Chebimiet” is likely a misspelling of “Chebiemit”, an actual place on the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties.

NTV Kenya tweeted the image with “Fake” stamped on it. “ Beware of fake news! If it’s not on our official social media pages, it’s fake,” the TV channel cautioned.

[title text=”FACT CHECKING” align=”center” uppercase=”yes” bold=”yes”]