Photo of Ruto holding machete is manipulated

By KEG Fact Checking

As Kenya’s general election draws ever closer, Kenyans are sharing pictures of political candidates on social media. The polls are scheduled for 9 August 2022, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

One frontrunner is Deputy President William Ruto,who is running for the presidency as the leader of the Kenya Kwanza coalition of political parties. The other is former prime minister Raila Odinga, who leads the Azimio One Kenya coalition party.

A photograph shared on Facebook shows Ruto holding a machete, with the blade on his shoulder. The Deputy President appears to be seated at a formal gathering. Was Ruto actually holding a machete as the photograph apparently shows?

Ruto carrying baton

A reverse image search points to a photograph in The Star in December 2021. It shows William Ruto holding not a machete, but a baton, which is commonly carried in Kenya by people considered elders or honourable.

The Star story, which does not include a photo credit, notes that the photo of Ruto was taken on the Tuesday preceding the publication date which is 20 December 2021, meaning the picture could have been taken on 14 December 2021.

In any case, it was published more than four months before the photo in which Ruto appears to be holding a machete, which is clearly photoshopped. – Vincent Ng’ethe

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