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FALSE: This appeal by Barack Obama to President Kenyatta to ‘stop fighting his deputy’ is fabricated

There is no credible evidence that the former US president made this statement.

Syndicated story by PesaCheck.

A purported appeal by former United States President Barack Obama to Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, to ‘stop fighting his deputy’ is FALSE.

The fake appeal was shared on Facebook, and asks President Kenyatta to emulate Obama’s example of mentoring and supporting those working under him to succeed him in office.

“You won’t become popular by fighting your own deputy and those who supported your leadership aspirations, a great and sound-minded leader will always build a great future for those who are serving under him!” the post reads in part.

“IAM [sic] happy seeing Biden a president of U.S.A!” it adds.

However, the post, which has glaring grammatical errors, does not indicate when or where Obama made the appeal. A photo of Obama and President Biden together, both appearing to be in a jovial mood, has been used to advance the claim.

Deputy President William Ruto has declared his interest to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022. However, Kenyatta and Ruto, according to media reports, are no longer political friends.

When Obama’s term in office expired on 10 January 2017, after eight years at the helm, he campaigned for Biden, who took office in January 2021.

Nonetheless, the reverse image search results show the photo was taken on 9 February 2015 in the Oval Office by the White House’s official photographer at the time, Pete Souza. Obama was still president then, with Biden serving as vice president.

None of Obama’s Facebook and Twitter posts address Kenyatta as claimed.

Additionally, given Obama’s profile and his Kenyan roots, his views about the country would attract mainstream media interest. A Google search did not yield any credible media reports on the same.

PesaCheck has looked into the appeal purportedly by former US President Barack Obama to Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, to ‘stop fighting his deputy,’ and finds it to be FALSE.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck fact-checker Simon Muli and edited by PesaCheck Chief Copy Editor Rose Lukalo.

The article was approved for publication by Managing Editor Enock Nyariki.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.


Kamadi Amata
Kamadi Amata
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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