Picture is from 2015 and shows political rally in Tanzania, not Kenya

·3 min read

Facebook posts with images of a political rally held by Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto in his hometown of Eldoret on January 8, 2022, included an old and unrelated picture. The image of a huge crowd, which also circulated on Twitter, was captured in Tanzania by an AFP photographer in 2015 during a public gathering organised by the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

"A sea of humanity at Eldoret sports club…. Eldoret people came out in large numbers. Ruto is the 5th president," read a Facebook post published on January 6, 2022, on a page bearing the name of Ruto's political party United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

A screenshot of the false Facebook post, taken on January 8, 2022

The same image was shared on Facebook here and here.

On Twitter, the topic ‘Eldoret’ was trending and the out-of-context image was also shared (see here and here) alongside the false claim.

Although he is yet to officially announce his candidacy, Ruto is expected to run in the national election scheduled for August 9, 2022. Key opponents include his arch-rival, the opposition leader Raila Odinga who has been working closely with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Tanzanian rally in 2015

While Ruto’s January 8 rally in Eldoret in the Rift Valley region attracted crowds, AFP Fact Check found that one of the images featured in the social media posts is unrelated to the event.

A reverse image search shows that the image was taken in October 2015 by AFP photographer Daniel Hayduk during a political rally in Tanzania held by the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). At the time, the late Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli was campaigning for the presidency.

A screenshot of the AFP picture, taken on January 8, 2022

“Supporters attend a rally by ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on October 23, 2015, ahead of the country's presidential elections on October 25, 2015,” the photo caption reads.

As Kenya gears up to elect its fifth president in August, there has been an increasing amount of online misinformation linked to the poll. AFP Fact Check has debunked several claims including here, here and here.

Kenya poll contenders

Odinga, 77, announced in October that he would make his fifth bid for the presidency, ending months of suspense following a surprise truce with his former foe, President Kenyatta.

A mainstay of Kenyan politics, the ex-prime minister remains hugely popular despite losing four shots at the presidency in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

But the veteran politician will face a tough fight against Ruto, 54, who was previously promised Kenyatta's backing for the top job in exchange for his support.

Ruto has positioned himself as a leader looking to upend the status quo and stand up for the "hustlers" trying to make ends meet in a country ruled by "dynasties".

The Kenyatta and Odinga families have dominated Kenyan politics since independence in 1963.

Previous elections were marred by violence and human rights abuses.

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