Was There a Chaotic Scene at the BBI Rally in Meru?

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Images have been circulating online allegedly related to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally that took place in Meru on the 29th of February 2020.

One particular image that caught our eye looked like a chaotic scene was that of white plastic chairs scattered on the ground with the tweep insisting that the image was from Kinoru Stadium where the rally was held.

Background

The Building Bridges Initiative became the highlight of the 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, after the disputed 2017 election. A BBI task force was given the mandate to come up with recommendations on ways to harmonize existing institutions so that all issues that matter to the public are addressed inclusively.

The BBI report was officially launched in November 2019 and since then rallies to drum up support for it have taken place in Narok, Mombasa, Garissa, Kitui, Kakamega and the latest one that happened in Meru last weekend.

Verification

An image search shows that the picture of the scattered seats first appeared on 10th January 2017. This was after an OKOLEA drive organized by Kawira Mwangaza at Kabuitu Market in Igemebe South turned violent. The drive mobilized people to help disadvantaged members of society. Chaos erupted when the meeting was interrupted by the then local Member of Parliament, Mithika Linturi.

Claims in the caption that the rally attendees were allegedly paid Sh.500 to attend the function have already been reported by local media but it is unclear as to who made the payment.

Verdict

There was NO chaotic scene with white plastic chairs scattered on the ground at the BBI rally held in Meru.

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.