Video shows Kenyan president speaking after annulled 2017 election, not post-2022 poll

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

A TikTok account claims to show a video of Kenya's leader criticising the recent election after his backed candidate Raila Odinga lost in a narrow race against rival contender William Ruto. But this is false: the clip, which received thousands of shares, is from 2017. It shows President Uhuru Kenyatta slamming the judiciary for annulling his election victory and ordering a re-run, which he won. By August 30, 2022, Kenyatta was yet to publicly talk about the results of the latest ballot.

The video has been shared more than 16,500 times on TikTok since it was posted on August 20, 2022. A day later, it also surfaced on Facebook.

“President Uhuru finally breaks silence for the first time since Chebukati announced to us a fake president-elect (sic),” the post reads, mirroring the TikTok caption.

Screenshot showing the false post, taken on August 26, 2022

Apart from Kenyatta, the clip features images of Ruto and the chairman of Kenya's electoral body, Wafula Chebukati.

In the footage, Kenyatta gives a speech mixing Swahili and English.

“Even if Kenyans go back to the ballot, if you want, you will still overturn the results... I have heard crazy things. Things I cannot believe I could hear in a democratic country like ours,” he says while the crowd laughs and applauds.

The social media posts claim that the outgoing leader made the speech in the aftermath of the presidential election on August 9, 2022.

Ruto was declared the winner after an anxious six-day wait. He received 50.49 percent of the votes and Odinga 48.85 percent, according to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

But just before the results were announced, four of the seven IEBC commissioners had issued a statement saying they disagreed with the outcome about to be delivered by Chebukati.

Odinga rejected the results a day later and has since filed a legal case challenging them in the Supreme Court.

But AFP Fact Check found that the video shared online in recent weeks dates back to 2017.

Kenyatta in 2017

Using the video verification tool InVid-WeVerify, AFP Fact Check ran reverse image searches on keyframes from the footage and found the original clip on the YouTube channel of Kenyan newspaper The Nation.

“How Uhuru reacted to Maraga’s statement on nullifying the repeat polls if marred with anomalies,” the caption reads.

David Maraga was one of four Supreme Court justices who, in a majority ruling, nullified Kenyatta’s presidential victory in 2017 and ordered fresh elections after finding that the outcome of the August 8, 2017, polls was tainted by irregularities.

In the video, Kenyatta accuses Maraga of failing to “respect” the country’s constitution.

By searching for “Uhuru speaks on repeat 2017 elections”, AFP Fact Check found a longer version uploaded by KTN News to YouTube on September 21, 2017.

The full video shows Kenyatta addressing a group of people from the North Eastern province at State House in Nairobi.

His remarks about Maraga, which appear in the misleading TikTok video, can be viewed from the 10-second mark.

Kenyatta, serving his second and final term as president, has yet to publicly comment on the latest election outcome.

Kenya elections 2022