FACT CHECK: Was Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto Smiling At The Funeral Of A Former Kenyan President?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto smiling beside the body of former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally altered. Ruto is not smiling in the original photo.

Fact Check:

Kibaki, who served as the president of Kenya between 2002 to 2013, died in April at the age of 90, according to The New York Times. Shortly after his death, his body was displayed at the country’s Parliament building where dignitaries, including Ruto and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, came to pay their respect, according to Capital News.

The Facebook image appears to show Ruto smiling as he looks at the body of Kibaki. “The Thiefth William Samoei Ruto laughing at Former President Mwai Emilio Kibaki’s Body! Sad!!” reads the image’s caption.

The image is digitally altered. A reverse image search revealed the original photo appeared in an article from Capital News. It shows Ruto bowing his head with a somber look on his face.

“Deputy President William Ruto pays his last respects to the third president of Kenya Mwai Kibaki who lay in state in Parliament on April 25, 2022,” reads the image’s caption. (RELATED: Does This Video Show People Violating Social Distancing Rules At Zindzi Mandela’s Funeral?)

There are no credible news reports that suggest Ruto had laughed or been disrespectful while mourning Kibaki. The deputy president paid tribute to the late president in an April 25 Facebook post, stating, “I join you in mourning a truly unique and iconic Kenyan whose immensely rich and highly exemplary life has blessed our nation with countless tangible and intangible legacies whose impact shall endure for many generations to come.”

Ruto is running for president in Kenya’s upcoming presidential election, according to Deutsche Welle. Kenyatta has backed his chief opponent, opposition leader Raila Odinga, the outlet reports.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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