Those of us in the business of chasing news regularly see the fake news in circulation and it is easy to discern.
Today’s column features two pieces of fake news that were in circulation earlier this month.
1. That North-Rift Shuttles has asked the Jubilee Party to pay up after ferrying supporters to the President’s meetings in Kisii and Nyamira.
The purported letter has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp.
In it, the company’s acting CEO asks the Jubilee secretariat in Kisii to make a pending payment of Sh527,346 for services.
Ms Joyce Wahome, the acting CEO, is so angry at the secretariat in Kisii that she writes through the party’s headquarters at Jubilee House in Pangani.
“As a matatu industry, we do not allow credit in our business,” she fumes.
She said credit was given “because of respect and the manner in which the deal was negotiated”.
The correct position is that the letter is a forgery.
I called the number on the letter and spoke to a representative of Mr Joseph Ngigi, the company’s actual CEO.
She said there is no manager at the company by the name Joyce Wahome and they have been looking for whoever used their letterhead to come up with the fake letter.
“We gave Jubilee the go-ahead to find out who that is,” the spokesman said.
2. That lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi spoke to KTN reporter Chris Thairu about his political affiliation.
In the conversation, also circulated on WhatsApp, the lawyer is quoted speaking to Mr Thairu about having supported Jubilee and why that changed.
He is purported to have said he initially backed Jubilee because of its “transformative manifesto” but that later “degenerated into a rhetoric”.
He then goes on to wax lyrical about the Opposition, saying it has oomph and gravitas and concludes by saying the President’s goose is cooked.
The fact is Mr Abdullahi has not spoken to Mr Thairu about his political leaning.
Mr Thairu said today: “We never sat with Ahmednassir and talked about President Kenyatta.”
Mr Abdullahi also posted on his Twitter account a screenshot from online gazette Kenya Today with the purported story and said: “Too many fake news…never discussed anything with the alleged reporter…never met him…”