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FALSE: This photo does not show former Assistant Minister Stephen Tarus’ house on fire

The image was first published by Nation Africa on 10 November 2009 and is taken from its library.

Syndicated Story By PesaCheck

This photo shared on Twitter with a claim that it shows the house of Kenya’s former Internal Security assistant minister, Stephen Tarus, on fire, is FALSE.

“The house of former Assistant Minister Stephen Tarus in Kapkangani, Emgwen Constituency reduced into ashes by “angry” youth,” the tweet reads in part.

The tweet adds that the incident came after Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi threatened to deal with Tarus and all other former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s supporters.

However, a Google reverse image search shows that the picture was published by Nation Africa on 10 November 2009. However, Nation did not indicate the name of the building on fire, only saying this was a file photo.

Nation Africa used the image in a story about a fire at the Kenya Water Institute, South C in Nairobi.

Tarus’ house was set ablaze on 24 October 2021 by rowdy youth, and a day later, he told the press that he suspects the house was burnt because of his support for Odinga.

“The current constitution is a democracy. It is human rights enshrined in the Constitution that protects everyone and no one has the right to load it against anyone. I would like every presidential candidate looking for votes to be received anywhere in the republic of Kenya to sell their policies,” the former assistant minister told the media.

On 24 October 2021, Tarus filed a police report at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations alleging that Sudi had attacked him at the funeral of athlete Agnes Tirop. During the funeral, Sudi cautioned Tarus against attacking Deputy President William Ruto.

PesaCheck has looked into a tweet claiming to show a photo of Kenya’s former Internal Security Assistant Minister Stephen Tarus’ house on fire 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 Naomi Wanjiku and edited by PesaCheck chief copy editor Rose Lukalo. The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck 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
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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