Audio from clip purporting to show Kenya’s Odinga speaking at recent national event was manipulated

President William Ruto led commemorations on June 1 for Kenya’s 61st Madaraka Day, a national holiday marking the moment the British granted the East African country self-rule. A video circulating online purports to show opposition leader Raila Odinga addressing Ruto at this year’s event. But this is false: the video was shared out of context and a section of its audio was edited.

“Raila Odinga’s Remarkable speech during Madaraka Day celebrations (sic),” reads the caption on a video posted on TikTok three days after Kenya observed Madaraka Day this year.

Screenshot showing the altered clip, taken on June 5, 2024

The video, which has since been taken down, had been shared more than 1,700 times by June 5, 2024. Six minutes in length, it showed Ruto inviting Odinga to speak at a podium before they shook hands.

In the social media video, Odinga appears to address Ruto in Swahili, saying "My brother and friend President William Ruto". 

The same video was posted here on TikTok with a caption reading: “Listen to Raila’s speech during Madaraka day ahead of AU chairmanship.” Both clips displayed a white-and-black circular logo belonging to “Truth Media 1” — the account that has since removed its post.

Screenshot showing the altered clip, taken on June 6, 2024

This year, Ruto led thousands of Kenyans in marking the national holiday in Bungoma, a town in western Kenya approximately 300 kilometres from the country’s capital, Nairobi (archived here).

But the video does not show Odinga taking part in the 2024 Madaraka Day celebrations and he does not address Ruto as Kenya's president.

Manipulated 2018 video

Using a keyword search, AFP Fact Check found the original broadcast on the YouTube page of KTN News posted on June 1, 2018 (archived here).

A side-by-side comparison of the two clips shows Odinga and Ruto together at a podium and wearing the same suits in both videos.

Screenshot showing the social media clip (left) and the original video posted on the KTN News YouTube channel

In the KTN News footage filmed at the 55th Madaraka Day ceremony, Ruto -- the deputy president at the time -- invites Odinga to the podium. Odinga begins his speech by extending a formal greeting to Uhuru Kenyatta, who was the country’s leader in 2018.

“President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, First Lady Margret Kenyatta, my friend and brother William Ruto and our friend from South Africa, brother and comrade David Mabuza,” said Odinga, speaking Swahili.

The doctored clip's audio was edited so that Odinga appears to refer to Ruto as “president of the Republic of Kenya”.

According to local media reports, Ruto adopted a more conciliatory approach towards his rival Odinga during the 2018 Madaraka Day celebrations held at Kinoru Stadium in Meru County (archived here).

Ruto referred to Odinga, a former prime minister, as “his brother” and friend, describing him as a national leader.

Odinga and Ruto would go on to be rivals in the 2022 election. Ruto won by a slim margin, leading to another fallout (archived here) between the two men.

But Odinga’s latest aspiration to become the fifth chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) appears to have helped thaw relations with Ruto (archived here).

Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango told AFP Fact Check that “Raila was absent from the Madaraka Day celebrations since he was attending to personal matters”.

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