Clip of crowd singing name of Kenyan presidential candidate is doctored, original footage has no chants

·2 min read

With Kenya’s general elections less than a month away, supporters of the two leading presidential contenders Deputy President William Ruto and Raila Odinga have been slugging it out online – often spreading disinformation – to win over voters. In late June, a blogger loyal to Ruto posted a video on Facebook and Twitter that included audio of crowds purportedly chanting his name at a rally hosted by Odinga. But AFP Fact Check found that the clip has been doctored: the original footage did not include the chants.

The video was originally published on TikTok on June 21, 2022, and has since been shared more than 1,800 times.

The footage lasts 16 seconds and shows the secretary-general of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), Francis Atwoli, addressing a crowd in Swahili.

When he asks people who they intend to vote for on August 9, 2022, chants of “Ruto!Ruto!Ruto!” can be heard.

Screenshot showing the doctored video, taken on July 11, 2022

The clip was also shared on Twitter and Facebook by Ruto supporter and political blogger Dennis Itumbi. It has been shared more than 1,000 times since Itumbi’s posts went up on June 22, 2022.

While Odinga and Ruto are seen as favourites to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, the other two candidates in the running are law professor George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party and lawyer David Waihiga of the Agano Party.

In June 2022, Odinga hosted a political rally in Isiolo county in eastern Kenya where he was accompanied by politicians affiliated with the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance.

However, AFP Fact Check found that the audio in the clip was digitally manipulated.

Manipulated footage

In the original videos available on the Azimio la Umoja alliance’s Facebook page and on the Kenya Digital News YouTube account, Atwoli encourages residents of Isiolo to wake up early on voting day and to ensure Odinga’s election as Kenya’s fifth president.

The full video runs for 45 minutes. AFP Fact Check watched the footage and at no point does the crowd shout Ruto’s name.

AFP Fact Check traced the video to a TikTok account called “Funny Kenyan Politics” where other examples of manipulated videos in favour of Ruto were found.

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