A digital card bearing KBC digital branding and quoting Archbishop Anthony Muheria seemingly criticizing President William Ruto is fake.

The card reads, “We want to appreciate the new administration for acknowledging the place of God and the church in its establishment. However, the government must also understand that there’s time for everything. This is time to work, not to dwell on political events disguised as thanksgiving services.” 

We compared the digital cards with others recently published by KBC and the card in question is missing a hashtag, #TheGreatKBC, which appears on all the other digital cards produced by KBC. 

Furthermore, the card omits Muheria’s position, yet other KBC digital cards include the position of the person quoted.

Next, we checked to see if the Archbishop had uttered the words produced in the digital card and we discovered that he had not been featured on KBC in the last week, but had been interviewed on Citizen TV on the night of 5 February 2023.  

Although Muheria noted the importance of service delivery and the need to move on from political electioneering during the interview, he did not utter the words attributed to him in the digital card.

Here is a selection of his remarks:

On election politics:

“That means the time for electioneering politics is over. We must go ahead in other ways and if there are things that refer to the election, then follow through the channels that the whole system provides. When it comes to the situation of discussions going forward in terms of the politics of this country, let us follow those channels that are meant to feed to this. And if we go that way we will become a mature nation already we enjoy in the worldwide reputation. I would say that’s my and our message as religious leaders especially.”

On service delivery and political rhetoric:

“I think that’s what we should be asking the government first to deliver, because that’s the role that’s why we elected them so let them focus on delivery and not so much on the rhetoric, that’s true, but I think servant leadership is even more than just delivery, it;s having sensitivity of the actual needs of our people. ”

On politics in houses of worship:

But I think it’s very good that they attend church every Sunday for the next part of their life. Everybody of us, let’s attend, let’s go to church, let’s encounter God, but genuinely and honestly, and not use that platform for politics. I think we must continually say this and call it out to our religious leaders and to our politicians of whatever apology or divide they are that the encounter with God or place of worship must not be used as instruments or platforms for political gain or political messaging. We really must work towards that so we go to pray God as equals, and after that you can speak to the people wherever. And I think that is what we must encourage our leaders.”

The Archbishop’s account tweeted that the graphic was fake, and included a clip from the Citizen TV interview, confirming he was not interviewed on KBC. 

KBC also disowned the graphic, calling it fake.

Conclusion 

Debunk looked into a  digital card apparently authored by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in which the Catholic Archbishop of Nyeri, Anthony Muheria, criticized the government for holding thanksgiving services that doubled as political events.

We found that Archbishop Muheria had not been interviewed by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in the two weeks prior to the digital card being published but had been interviewed by Citizen TV. The digital card shared on had marked differences from the genuine cards shared by KBC. Finally, both the archbishop and the television station dismissed the digital card as fake. 

This fact check was published by Debunk.media with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck and African Fact-Checking Alliance.

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