Video of gang fight from DRC, not Nairobi before Ruto rally

By Eunice Omollo

On 19 June 2022, Deputy President William Ruto held a rally in Nairobi’s Embakasi area as he campaigned for the presidency. Kenyans go to the polls on 9 August 2022.

Ruto is contesting the presidency as the leader of the United Democratic Alliance and the Kenya Kwanza coalition. His main rival, Raila Odinga, represents the Azimio La Umoja coalition party.

Violence broke out between Azimio and Kenya Kwanza supporters before the rally started. A candidate was injured and Ruto’s motorcade was stoned. Later the same day, a video purporting to show violence between the opposing supporters was shared on Facebook.  

Did the video show a confrontation between the opposing political groups before the rally in Nairobi’s Embakasi? 

We set out to verify the video shared on Facebook. Using the Invid WeVerify tool, we obtained screenshots of the video. A reverse image search on one screenshot led us to a tweet with the same video attached. It was posted by a user who claimed Rwandans were being attacked in Congo.

‘Kuluna’ gangsters 

A search for the terms “gang”, “fight” and “Kinshasa” on Twitter brought up the same video with references to the word “kuluna”, which roughly translates to “gang member” in the DRC. Congolese users on Facebook and YouTube have shared  numerous instances of the video, dating back as early as 14 January 2022.

Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya, a Congolese journalist working for Agence France Presse, shared the video on 17 January 2022,  stating the location as Kinshasa. A Twitter translation of his French post reads as follows: “We are in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo: here Kuluna (gangs) are in action. Often it’s for no apparent reason like in this video. We must put an end to this form of urban banditry which claims innocent victims.”

All available evidence points to Kinshasa and not Embakasi, Nairobi, as the location of the fighting. The combatants are Congolese gangsters and not opposing political supporters from Kenya. The video was shot as early as January 2022 and so the violence could not have taken place on the day of Ruto’s rally at Jacaranda grounds on 19 June 2022. The video shared on Facebook is misleading.

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