In August 2022, Kenyans will be voting in their third election since the 2010 constitution was promulgated. As the poll draws ever nearer. users on social media are posting stories about the past activities of political candidates.
Rigathi Gachagua is a candidate for Deputy President in the election, and would deputise William Ruto if he were elected president. Ruto is contesting the presidency under the United Democratic Alliance party, and is one of the leading contenders. The other frontrunner in the election is Raila Odinga, who is leading the Azimio One Kenya Coalition party.
The photo of a report page which apparently describes the activities of Rigathi Gachagua, during the election violence of 1992 has been posted numerous times on both Facebook and Twitter. The header of the page reads “Summary – Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report”
The page, which states that Gachagua was a District Officer in the Molo area, goes on to provide details of the violence in which he was apparently involved. The KEG Fact-checking desk checked to see if this page from the report was genuine.
No reference to Gachagua
The Executive Director of Amnesty International Kenya, Irungu Houghton, referred the KEG Fact-checking desk to the Seattle University School of Law Digital Commons that contains all the volumes of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Report.
The report comprises Volume 1 Volume 2A, Volume 2B, Volume 2C, Volume 3 and Volume 4. There is also a newspaper supplement, a dissent from three commissioners and a “pre-interference” version of Volume 2B. We searched all these volumes for a mention of “Rigathi Gachagua” and the name did not come up.
In addition to the official report by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission, two human rights organisations have each published a summary of the report. Kituo Cha Sheria, a legal aid organisation, published one summary, while the Kenya Transitional Justice Network, a group of human rights organisations, published another.
The header of the Kenya Transitional Justice Network report matches the header of the page shared on Facebook, including the font and the yellow line. The entire report has only 43 pages, which means page 103, the page number of the page shared online, cannot possibly exist.
Like the official TJRC report, the summary report has no reference to Rigathi Gachagua. Furthermore, the font of the text on the report’s pages is different from that of the page shared on Facebook. The page is fake.