FACT CHECK: Did Barack Obama Make This Statement In Reference To Kenya’s 2022 Elections?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows former President Barack Obama giving a message to Kenyans before their upcoming presidential election.

Verdict: False

The footage actually shows Obama speaking before the 2013 Kenyan national elections, not the 2022 elections.

Fact Check:

Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., was raised in the Nyanza Province of Kenya, according to Voice of America. The former president traveled to the country before and during his tenure, visiting again after leaving office in 2018, The New York Times reported.

In the video, which was first uploaded Jan. 1 to TikTok, Obama addresses the people of Kenya. He congratulates the country on the passage of a “new constitution” and the necessity of taking another step “in March, with the first national elections.” The video’s text identifies this as Obama’s “message to Kenyans towards 2022 Election.” (RELATED: Did Georgia Send Out 7 Million Absentee Ballots While Only Having 5.6 Million Registered Voters In The 2020 Presidential Election?)

The speech actually occurred in February 2013 in anticipation of elections in Kenya in March of that year, according to the Obama White House Archives. A copy of the speech can be found on the official Obama White House YouTube channel, dated Feb. 5, 2013.

Obama’s “new constitution” reference appears to relate to the current Kenyan constitution, which was signed into law in 2010, The Guardian reported. Obama also called for “peaceful elections” in the country in 2017 amid fears of vote-rigging and subsequent violence, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was reelected in March 2013 despite claims of the election being “tainted,” BBC News reported. The 2022 Kenyan presidential general election is set to be held Aug. 9, not in March, according to the Brookings Institution.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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