By Victor Mboya
As Kenya’s election draws ever closer, the competing sides are using hashtags on Twitter to spread their agenda and attack their opponents.
William Ruto, Kenya’s deputy president, is running to succeed the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta. He leads the United Democratic Alliance party and the Kenya Kwanza alliance. The other main frontrunner is Raila Odinga who heads the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition.
Soon after, a hashtag, #TheSlappingDictator trended on Twitter, referring to Ruto. One of the tweets using the hashtag attached a photo of Wafula Chebukati, the chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which manages Kenya’s elections.
The Twitter account appears to belong to Ngunjri Wambugu, a member of Kenya’s parliament. In the photo, an arrow points to Chebukati’s lapel pin, which is marked “UDA PIN”, and appears to be green and yellow, like the colours of Ruto’s party.
Above the image is the name “Wafula Cheburuto” which is a mix of “Chebukati” and “Ruto”. “CHEBURUTO! Stay Informed #TheSlappingDictator,” reads the caption.
Published in 2017
We verified the photo to check if the IEBC chair really did wear a UDA lapel pin. A reverse image search of the photo revealed that it had been published as early as September 2017 in a news report from the BBC. At the time, IEBC was announcing a repeat election on 26 October 2017, after the original election was invalidated by Kenya’s supreme court. The same court upheld Kenyatta’s victory in the repeat election.
Earlier versions of the image shows Chebukati wearing a Kenyan flag lapel pin and not a UDA pin. It is clearly photoshopped.
Fake Twitter account