Kenyans have been debating the controversial headline today, “Rachel in hiding?” which was in reference to Deputy President William Ruto’s spouse.
The article claimed that Ruto’s marriage was on the rocks and that Rachel was no longer living in their official residence in the leafy suburbs of Karen, Nairobi.
“Nobody has seen Rachel since the beginning of March this year. She was last seen taking off with the rest of the family after a heated fight,” an excerpt of the article alleged.
A local new sites has independently verified that the viral image that has polarised social media users is false. The affected media house also termed the image as fake on its Twitter handle.
The legitimate cover story of The Standard newspaper of May 27, 2020, is about former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking about collaborating with President Uhuru Kenyatta in a government of national unity.
The falsified cover also claimed that page 4 of the newspaper bore the whole story about Ruto’s wife but the real physical newspaper did not carry the story.
Further, the power couple held special prayers for the Covid-19 pandemic at their Karen home on April 26, 2020 which discredits claims that Rachel had moved out in March.
“As we continue the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, we pray for those who have lost their loved ones, and commit to God those that are infected.
“We pray for our medical workers who are in the frontline in tackling the outbreak. We have faith that we will win this battle soon and our country will return to normalcy,” the DP’s spouse shared, adding photos of the two during the service.
Kenyans on social media are increasingly falling for fake news and sharing the same to friends and family without taking time to verify.
“Look closely at the link. A fishy or look-alike link may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the link. You can go to the site to compare the link to established sources,” digital media expert, Brian Muuo advises.
In early 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta enacted the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, 2017 providing a two-year jail term or Ksh5 million fine for spreading fake news.