Is This Time Magazine Cover Legitimate?

This tweet claims to show a Time Magazine cover supposedly published for the July 19, 2017 issue. Raila Odinga is featured on the cover with the caption “The man who will never be president”.

Raila’s loss to Ruto in the just concluded polls elicited widespread reactions on Twitter and this cover was among them. It was also shared by Raila’s friend turned foe Miguna Miguna with the caption “Raila has made history to the prestigious Times cover as the longest presidential loser.”


Here is a breakdown of all the five times Raila Odinga has attempted to become Kenya’s president and failed:

Raila Odinga first bid for the Presidency in the 1997 general election under the National Development Party. He came in third after the late Daniel Arap Moi and the late Mwai Kibaki garnering 665,725 votes. In the 2002 election, Odinga endorsed Kibaki’s Presidential bid under the National Rainbow Coalition. NARC beat their number one contender Uhuru Kenyatta who enjoyed President Moi’s endorsement.

In the 2007 election, Odinga vied under an Orange Democratic Movement(ODM) party ticket. It was majorly a two horse race between Odinga and the Party of National Unity’s (PNU) Kibaki. Kibaki was declared President-elect by the head of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), Samuel Kivuitu. Odinga disputed the results citing rigging. This claim was backed by the Chief European observer at the time, Alexander Graf who termed the presidential elections as flawed. This saw violence erupt in various parts of the country leaving about 1,100 people dead and another 650,000 displaced. It took mediation by the late Kofi Annan to end the violence. This led to the formation of a coalition government with Raila as its Prime Minister.

In 2013, Raila decided to give the presidency another shot. This time under a new political outfit, the Coalitions for Reforms and Democracy (CORD). He was up against Jubilee party’s Uhuru Kenyatta. Uhuru was declared the winner and Odinga disputed the results citing irregularities. He filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging Kenyatta’s win. The court however upheld the results and Odinga conceded defeat.

Odinga kept pursuing his presidential dream in the 2017 election under a National Super Alliance (NASA) ticket. He was vying against the incumbent, Uhuru. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared Uhuru as President elect. Raila questioned the legitimacy of the results and filed a petition at the Supreme Court. This time the court nullified the election results finding the election had been tainted with irregularities. The court ordered fresh elections to be held within 60 days. The elections were indeed held on October 26, 2017, however, Odinga and his team did not participate. Odinga and his party cited that the IEBC had not changed its operation and personnel to ensure they deliver a credible election, therefore, they would not participate in what he termed a “sham”. Kenyatta was thus declared the winner in the re-run.

For the fifth time and probably his final stint at the presidency, Raila Odinga, under Azimio One Kenya ran against Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto for the top seat. Elections were held on August 9, 2022 and Ruto declared the winner after garnering 50.5% of the vote with Raila garnering 48.8%. Raila and his team have disputed the results and are set to plead their case at the Supreme Court.


To begin with, the cover is purportedly from July 19, 2017, this was way before the August 9, 2022 elections.

Time Magazine archives from the issues published in 2017 show that Raila was never featured in the magazine. The magazine did not even produce an issue on the said date.

In 2018 another fake Time Magazine cover claiming that Raila Odinga was voted person of the year in Africa. AfricaCheck debunked the claims here.


The cover purportedly from Time Magazine is FAKE.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published.

Tracy Anne Bonareri

Tracy Bonareri is a journalist passionate about human interest and investigative pieces. A writer who hopes to change the world one word at a time.