By Eunice Omollo
Kenyans are only four days from the 2022 election, but misinformation and disinformation have seized public attention.
Ruto is the sitting deputy president and one of the frontrunners in the August 2022 presidential election. The other is Raila Odinga, a former prime minister who leads the Azimio la Umoja coalition and the Orange Democratic Movement party (ODM).
The day after the rally, a video circulated among senior members of Odinga’s campaign. They claimed that it showed Ruto inciting the Kalenjin against people from other ethnic groups in Uasin Gishu. As Ruto spoke in Kalenjin, the captions in the video offered a troubling translation.
“My votes here must reach 100%, otherwise, these people will know who we are. Tell them we don’t play with people here, because what do those pamphlets mean? That’s a small matter and they should stop their foolishness and stupidity. This is our home and we call the shots,” he is supposed to have said.
Then he continued in English: “The people from Western Kenya who are here, the people from Nyanza who are here, the people from Central who are here, shame on you.” While many of the tweets were deleted, a few were archived. Other instances of the video can also be found online. Following a public uproar, law enforcement officials announced an investigation.
‘Those who want to divide us’
In the original video, of the Eldoret rally, which is also available below, Ruto says: “The Kalenjins who are here, the people from Western Kenya who are here, the people from Nyanza who are here, the people from Central who are here, the people from all parts of Kenya who are here, they belong to Uasin Gishu, and their home is Uasin Gishu, and this Uasin Gishu is the home of every Kenyan, and we want to tell those who want to divide us, shame on you!”
The part in which Ruto says that people from all parts of Kenya belong in Uasin Gishu is clearly left out, as is the reference to “those who want to divide us”. The communications director for Ruto’s presidential campaign, Hussein Mohamed, posted a copy of the original footage that included a translation from the Kalenjin language. However, the Kalenjin notwithstanding, the English language parts of the shared video alone show that it is doctored.