Did President Kenyatta Say That the United States Should Leave Tanzania Alone?

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An image shared on Facebook claims to show a screenshot of a tweet from President Uhuru Kenyatta allegedly saying that the Kenyan embassy in Tanzania has confirmed that the Tanzanian elections were free and fair and that the United States should leave Tanzania and Africa alone.

Background

Tanzania nationals set out for the polls on October 28, when the general elections were held.

On October 31, Tanzania’s electoral commission declared the incumbent President John Magufuli, who was said to have won 84% of the vote, as the winner for the presidential race.

However, the election process was regarded to have been suspicious as put in a statement from the United States embassy in Tanzania. The statement that was issued on October 29 indicated that there had been “credible allegations of significant election-related fraud and intimidation.”

Election malpractice cited in the letter from the US embassy in Tanzania included the detention of election candidates, pre-filled ballots and blocking of social media and other communication platforms.

Among the detained politicians included opposition leader Freeman Mbowe, as well as presidential aspirant Tundu Lissu. The two led protests that disputed the election results.

Verification

Twitter suspended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s account, acting upon a request from his handlers, in March 2019.

A report by The East African reveals that President Kenyatta’s Twitter account had been the most followed African leader’s handle on the microblogging site.

According to State House at the time, the President’s Twitter account had been temporarily suspended.

Normally, Twitter has a window of up to 30 days for a deactivated account to be reactivated, but the president’s Twitter account was never reactivated during this period.

Communication from the office of the president is routinely shared on the State House Kenya Twitter account. However, the State House Kenya account does not contain any tweet asking the US to back out of Tanzanian or African politics.

In connection to the Tanzanian elections, a statement issued on October 31 from the office of the president congratulated John Magufuli for his win. There was no comment regarding the alleged election malpractice in the Tanzanian polls in this statement.

Verdict

A screenshot showing a tweet purporting to be from President Kenyatta saying that the United States should leave Tanzania and Africa alone is FAKE.

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Linda Ngari