Is This Video of a Crowd Chanting Sonko’s Name During President Kenyatta’s Speech Doctored?

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A video circulating on social media claims to show that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech at Dandora area in Nairobi was apparently interrupted by people chanting former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s name.

President Kenyatta is on the video seen telling the crowds to calm down and wait for him to complete his speech. The video featured in an article on the Cyprian Nyakundi news blog, as it was also shared several times across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Background

Mike Sonko was on December 3, 2020 impeached from his gubernatorial seat at the country’s capital. According to the motion tabled by members of the Nairobi County Assembly, the governor is said to have violated the constitution and abused office on various instances such as “disregarding” the constitution by failing to appoint a deputy governor as required, as well as the misappropriation of funds and irregular awarding of tenders, as he is also accused of having ran a parallel government through the Sonko rescue team according to the motion.

The ousted governor went on to publicly criticise the government and President Uhuru Kenyatta, and shortly after ended up convicted for supposedly conducting terrorist activities. An affidavit sworn by an officer from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit indicated that Sonko, who has a huge following, is allegedly involved in financing terrorism and is apparently organizing a “complex and sophisticated” militia group that has ostensibly advanced to the stage of acquiring arms and ammunition- a Citizen TV report states.

Verification

News that a crowd in Dandora chanted Sonko’s name in the middle of the president’s speech does not appear on any reputable media reports, neither is the footage showing the alleged ordeal published on reputable media. Moreover, the Cyprian Nyakundi article simply republishes information drawn from a tweet.

While the president indeed visited Dandora area recently on February 19, original footage from his speech does not involve a crowd chanting Sonko’s name. On the original footage, the president calms down the crowd which demanded the return of the ‘Kazi Mtaani’ program and the completion of the Dandora stadium construction.

Verdict

The video claiming to show that the crowd gathered over President Kenyatta’s speech in Dandora on February 19 chanted former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s name is FALSE.

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Linda Ngari