This video was not filmed in Kenya but in Tanzania

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on January 31, 2020 at 14:24
  • 2 min read
  • By Mary KULUNDU, AFP Kenya
A video of a student being beaten by a group of teachers is being shared alongside claims that the scene was recorded in a Kenyan school. The claims are false; the video was filmed in a Tanzanian school in 2016.

The video was shared in this post on a Facebook page named WorldBeater News on January 25, 2020, and has since been viewed more than 70,000 times. A caption accompanying the video claimed that the teachers were from a Kenyan school and had been fired by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) -- the legal body that employs registered teachers in Kenya -- after the recording went public.

The post reads: “KENYA. Teachers are spotted here beating a student like a snake. All the teachers involved to lose their jobs with TSC”.

Screenshot taken on January 31, 2020 of Facebook post claiming to show Kenyan teachers beating up a student

This clip is not from Kenya

In the comments section, some users mentioned that the recording was an old clip from a Tanzanian school -- and they were right. 

First clue: In the video, a woman is speaking in Swahili in an accent associated with Tanzanians. (The woman pleads with the teachers to spare the student, to no avail.)

Secondly, the Tanzania coat of arms, featuring a man and woman supporting a warrior's shield, is visible in the background.

Screenshot taken on January 31, 2020 showing the Tanzania coat of arms

To find the origin of the video, we used the digital verification tool InVID to extract keyframes and run a reverse image search. This led us to a BBC article from October 2016 that included a screenshot of the video.

Screenshot taken on January 31, 2020 of BBC article reporting on teachers 'filmed beating pupil'

The BBC article explains that the video was recorded in a school in Mbeya, in southwest Tanzania. It went viral on Twitter under the hashtag #ArrestMbeyaSecondaryTeachers. The government then sent in a team of investigators, which led to the suspension of the headteacher.

Deutsche Welle television also reported on this incident.

What does the law say about corporal punishment in Tanzania?

Under a 1979 law, corporal punishment can only be administered by the school's director, and only in the event of serious breaches. The punishment should be administered by a light, flexible cane on the hand or buttocks.

Last year, the regional governor of Mbeya was caught on video beating students accused of burning down dormitories. In a report by Reuters, Albert Chalamila’s act was criticised by human rights activists.

However, Tanzanian President John Magufuli lauded the regional governor, saying he could even have done more, as AFP reported here.

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