Nairobi — The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has directed the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to open a probe into a manipulated video clip appearing to suggest ethnic incitement by Deputy President William Ruto, the UDA presidential candidate.
The video which was widely shared on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter drew mixed reactions attracting harsh criticism from a section of leaders .
It was first circulated by Azimio Secretary General Junet Mohamed and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, both high-ranking members of the coalition party sponsoring Ruto’s chief rival in Tuesday’s presidential election Raila Odinga.
The, who later pulled down the video clips after Twitter flagged them, had castigated Ruto for spreading ethnic hate.
Haji said Wednesday that his office will be looking to establish if indeed the videos were altered.
“We will await for the file. We have to establish whether indeed that was what was uttered or whether it was altered, and we have given appropriate directions,” Haji said.
The DPP further said that they had also directed investigations into another clip that allegedly recorded Junet’s phone call with an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission official in what was presumed to be an attempt to plan on how to manipulate the election.
He added that the IEBC has also brought to their attention a number of offenses.
“We have also taken appropriate action and directed the appropriate authorities, especially the National Police Service, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, and the National Cohesion and Integrated Commission,” Haji said.
PesaCheck, Africa’s largest indigenous fact-checking organisation, has come out to confirm that the clip allegedly showing DP Ruto inciting communities was altered.
According to PesaCheck, the video was edited to remove keywords and add inaccurate subtitles in his campaign speech in Uasin Gishu County.
“Videos shared on Twitter and Facebook claiming to show Kenya’s Deputy President (DP), William Ruto, inciting communities are ALTERED,” Pesa Check said in a statement published on its website.
PesaCheck went forward to say a review of the full footage of Ruto’s speech in Uasin Gishu on August 1 revealed that the DP did not speak against any of the communities mentioned as claimed. Instead, PesaCheck said, the video shared by Joho excluded parts of the DP’s speech.
In the unedited speech, the Kenya Kwanza presidential flagbearer speaks against people sowing seeds of discord and those opposed to community integration.
“The Kalenjins who are here, the people from Western Kenya who are here, the people from Nyanza who are here, the people from Central who are here, the people from all parts of Kenya who are here, they belong to Uasin Gishu, and their home is Uasin Gishu. And this Uasin Gishu is the home of every Kenyan. And we want to tell those who want to divide us, shame on you!” he said.
“Na tutawashitaki kwa mungu mukituleta kisirani yenu, na mukwende kabisa! (We will present our petitions to God if you dare cause strife among us. Shame!,” the DP continued.
Ruto’s UDA Party has since written to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission demanding for the suspension of Twitter accounts of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed for sharing hate messages.
The party’s Secretary General Veronica Maina, in her complaint letter to the Commission, said the duo had violated the NCIC Act after they posted a manipulated video of Deputy President with the intention to cause, elicit and spread hate.
Maina who also copied the Director General of the Communications Authority Ezra Chiloba and IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati asked the Commission to act and take down the video which has been shared widely on all social media platforms.
With only four days to the election, politicians have gone full throttle in their quest for power with some employing disinformation and misinformation tactics in attempts to mudsling their opponents.