FACT CHECK: Is Kenyan President-Elect William Ruto Under House Arrest?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Kenyan politician William Ruto is under “preventative arrest” following the country’s presidential election.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence to suggest that Ruto is under arrest.

Fact Check:

Kenya’s elections chief declared Ruto the winner of the country’s presidential election on Aug. 15, despite some election officials disputing the outcome, Reuters reported. Now, a viral Facebook post suggests the president-elect has been placed under house arrest.

The Facebook post features two photos, one showing a convoy of military vehicles moving down a crowded city street and another that shows a group of uniformed and armed men in formation. “William Ruto’s home is blocked by the police as of now he’s under preventive arrest,” reads the post’s caption.

The two photos were not taken in Kenya, however, and there is no evidence to suggest Ruto has been placed under arrest. A reverse image search reveals the first photo stems from a video that was posted on youtube in January 2021 by the Africa-based news outlet Nation. “Heavy military presence in Kampala ahead of polls,” reads the video’s title. Kampala is the capital city of neighboring Uganda.

The second photo can be found in a 2016 article from the Ugandan-based news outlet Eagle Online, showing police outside the home of then-presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye. The doctor, who lost the presidential election three times beforehand, was placed under house arrest after he denounced the results of the Ugandan election in February 2016 and called for a protest in Kampala, according to Article 19, a human rights organization focused on freedom of expression.

There are no credible news reports about Ruto being placed under arrest. “Ruto was not placed under house arrest after the vote,” Ruto’s spokesman Hussein Mohammed told AFP Fact Check. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Young People Stopping A Police Officer From Stealing A Ballot Box During Uganda’s 2021 Presidential Elections?)

This is not the first time William Ruto has been the subject of misinformation. Check Your Fact previously debunked an image from April that allegedly showed the president-elect posing with President Joe Biden.

Check Your Fact reached out to the Kenyan government for more information and will update this piece accordingly if a response is received.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter


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