Tweet by German political party on Kenyan polls inaccurate

By Victor Mboya

On 15 August 2022, Kenya’s election commission, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, declared that William Ruto had won Kenya’s general election.

Ruto, the incumbent deputy president and leader of the Kenya Kwanza coalition and the United Democratic Alliance party, received 7,176,141 votes against Raila Odinga, a former prime minister, who garnered 6,942,930 votes. Odinga is the leader of the Azimio la Umoja coalition and the Orange Democratic Movement party.

A political party in Germany, the Bundeszentralrat der Schwarzen in Deutschland which translates to “Federal Central Council of Blacks in Germany”, tweeted a claim about tensions in Kenya, after the results were announced:

“Serious unrest in Kenya: Opposition leader questions power. Odinga, who was defeated by electoral fraud, wants to be proclaimed counter-president, calls the president a ‘military ruler’ – and calls for mass protests on Thursday.”

 Included in the tweet was a photo of people protesting, with a large bonfire.

We checked if the photo showed Kenyans protesting the election results and whether Raila Odinga had demanded to be named “counter-president”, called the president a “military ruler” or called for mass protests on Thursday. 

Photo from 2017 election

A reverse image search showed that the Latin American broadcaster teleSUR had also published the picture from ZRSD, claiming the picture was from the 2022 election.

It also pointed to a September 2017 article by VOA Zimbabwe that contained the photo, which was credited to the Associated Press (AP). The original picture on the AP Images website was taken on 12 August 2017 by Khalil Senosi.

It shows supporters of presidential candidate Raila Odinga protesting at a fire barricade in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi, after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the August 2017 election, not the 2022 election.

‘Serious unrest’

Some protests were recorded on the day Ruto was declared the winner in the 2022 poll, particularly in parts of Nairobi as well as Kisumu, which traditionally votes strongly for Odinga. However, a state of calm was reported the next day.

Raila’s demands

Did Odinga demand to be appointed a counter-president ? Speaking the day after the election results were announced, Odinga said his party “would be pursuing all legal and constitutional options available”. Nowhere in his address did Odinga say he wanted a government appointment. There was also no mention of any president as a “military ruler”.

‘Protests on Thursday’

Raila Odinga did not call for protests, but urged continued tranquility. “I want to commend our supporters for remaining calm and keeping the peace and urge them to continue to do so. Let no one take the law into their own hands,” he said.


Raila Odinga did not demand to be appointed “counter-president” or call the president a “military ruler” or urge protests, as a political party in Germany claimed. The photo published does show a Kenyan election protest, but it is from 2017, not 2022.

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