An alarming story has been making rounds on social media alleging that an officer investigating the fake arms deal scandal was killed.
The scandal involves under fire former Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa.
He was charged alongside three others with forgery in a case involving the alleged Sh39 billion fraudulent arms deal which is linked to a very senior government office.
Is it true a sleuth on the case was killed and his body dumped?
The Standard Fact Check desk can confirm that the claim is fake.
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Retracing the origin
The claim was first published yesterday as a breaking news item by Times live blog with the title: “The DCI of Echesa’s case found dead and dumped in Kikuyu.”
“Roman Musyoki who is said to have been the main investigator on Rashid Echesa’s case has been found dead and dumped in Kikuyu along Waiyaki way,” the lead read.
According to the story, Musyoki had valuable information that would help the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (ODPP) find a breakthrough in the case.
According to the article, the murder of the ‘main investigator’ was confirmed to them by Kabete OCPD. They did not say who Kabete OCPD was.
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The false article was widely shared on social media platforms.
We traced it to a public group with 118,886 members called KENYA BREAKING NEWS (Happening now).
In the group, the article was further shared 17 times as it elicited reactions from unsuspecting readers. The link to the story was also posted several times on Twitter and messaging app WhatsApp.
Our desk reached out to the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations which dispelled the article and termed it as propaganda.
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A police constable from the DCI offices Nairobi told our Fact Check Desk the name Roman Musyoki was fabricated since they do not have a detective by that name.
“It’s not true. All detectives, in that case, are from the Headquarters. The name that was used in the fake story is fictitious,” said a police constable from DCI.
The source also added that all the investigators in the military scandal are safe, affirming that there is no imminent threat to their lives.
Kabete OCPD George Sedah also confirmed that the allegations were false.
Not leaving anything to chance, we contacted Chiromo Mortuary to verify if they received a body registered under the name Roman Musyoki, there were no such records found.
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We also conducted a reverse search of the photo used in the article showing a dead body dumped in a maize plantation.
We discovered that the photo has been numerously used by various blogs to propagate fake news.
It was used in a 2018 story by a Zimbabwean blog which claimed that two criminals had shot a taxi driver and dumped the body in a maize plantation with a gun they stole from a soldier at a night club.
Another blog had used the same photo in January 2018 in a story claiming that a woman was raped, killed and her body dumped in a maize plantation in Gweru village Zimbabwe.
Detectives are now tracking down the author of the fake article who according to the source will be charged with spreading fake information.
No DCI detective investigating the former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa’s Sh39 billion military scandal was killed yesterday.
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