Did Churchill Otieno Tender This Resignation Letter?

This letter titled ‘Resignation From the Presidency of the Kenya Editors’ Guild’, and dated December 14, 2021, claims to announce Churchill Otieno’s resignation from his position as the president of the editors’ guild in Kenya. The letter appears to contain the Kenya Editors’ Guild logo and Churchill’s signature. It reads in part;

“A series of recent events have caused me considerable agony over the practice and fate of journalism in this country. To be sincere, I never thought I would live to see the day when my beloved profession of journalism would sink so low as to disregard new values, ethics and even overt leads bearing huge public interest consequences.”

The letter goes on to cite the alleged misuse of public land like the Uhuru Gardens, accusing journalists’ of turning a blind eye to this and other issues, to which, according to the letter, Churchill Otieno “cannot be party” to, hence tendering his resignation.

May be an image of text

Background

True to the claims made in the letter circulating on social media, Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga indeed alleged that land grabbers attempted to take over the Uhuru Gardens during his Jamhuri Day Speech.

“This [ground] was chosen because it was a concentration camp, where, as the president has said, freedom fighters were tortured next to the Weston Hotel which was part of this ground, and Lang’ata Primary school, there are torture chambers which had been preserved by the Museum of Kenya for people to know where we are coming from,” Raila Odinga said.

This came after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the establishment of a museum at the Uhuru Gardens.

“Your excellency what you’ve done here is great,” Raila added, “We congratulate you. This land had been grabbed… but you managed to retrieve it back for the benefit of our people and it’s going to remain truly Uhuru Gardens, where we also are going to bury our heroes and remember them for posterity.”

Verification

However, the letter circulating was not published on the Kenya Editors’ Guild official communication platforms, nor does it appear on Churchill Otieno’s personal social media accounts.

Churchill Otieno has in fact flagged the letter as fake. In a post published on both his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts. Churchill said; “Ignore these agents of disinformation. I have released no such statement.”

screenshot of https://mobile.twitter.com/otienoc/status/1470747318605725696

The letter was also flagged by the Kenya Editors’ Guild in posts stating; “Please be advised that this release doing rounds on social media is fake. Do not fall for fake news.”

Verdict

The letter claiming to announce Churchill Otieno’s resignation from the Kenya Editors’ Guild is FAKE.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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Linda Ngari

Linda is a fact-checking and data journalist. She is currently the Piga Firimbi editor. She is passionate about acquiring and utilising OSINT tools and skills to tell stories that matter to a modern day tech-savvy audience in innovative ways.