Posts share false claims about Kenya’s Raila Odinga landing UN job after losing presidential election

·2-min read

Posts claiming that Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has landed a new job with the UN have been widely shared on TikTok and Facebook. The claim, however, is false. People close to the veteran politician told AFP Fact Check that Odinga has not been offered a job by the UN. The UN has also denied the claim.

“Raila landed UN job The Enigma is the new UN Political Affairs, Peace and Humanitarian Boss across the world (sic),” reads one of the posts published on TikTok on September 14, 2022, and since shared more than 80 times.

The post features an image of Odinga taken when he hosted Jeremy Purvis from the United Kingdom who was accompanied by Jill Coates from the British Council of Kenya in Nairobi.

Screenshot showing the false post, taken on September 15, 2022

Kenya held general elections on August 9, 2022. William Ruto was declared the winner in a tight presidential race with a margin of less than two percentage points against his closest opponent Odinga.

Odinga alleged fraud and challenged the poll results, but the country’s Supreme Court upheld Ruto’s victory.

President Ruto was sworn in on September 13, 2022, and now serves as the country’s fifth president.

Similar posts were also published on Facebook (here and here) and on TikTok (here, here and here).

But the claim is false.

No UN job

The UN Secretary-General personnel appointments page does not feature Odinga’s name.

Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onsarigo told AFP Fact Check that there was no truth to the claim.

“The claim that Raila got a new job with the UN is not true. He is currently out of the country on personal business,” said Onsarigo.

Salim Lone, a long-time Odinga ally who worked as his spokesman when he served as Kenya’s prime minister, told AFP Fact Check that the claim was shared by people with malicious motives.

“This fake news is doing the rounds. It’s utter rubbish. Those pushing it are clearly worried about Raila's continuing intense appeal despite the Supreme Court setback,” said Lone.

The UN also dismissed the claim.

“Raila Odinga has not been offered employment by the UN,” the organisation told AFP Fact Check.

According to the UN website, the current holder of the position of Under Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs is Rosemary DiCarlo, who was appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres on May 1, 2018.