- The Image shows one section of the Thika Superhighway barricaded with stones. A crowd is seen gathering on the road with a contingent of police officers pictured patrolling the road.
- In the image, two Police water cannons can be seen on the other side of the road.
A Facebook post with an image that went viral on July 12, 2023, claiming that Thika Super Highway has been blocked ahead of Azimio La Umoja protests is FALSE.
The Image shows one section of the Thika Superhighway barricaded with stones. A crowd is seen gathering on the road with a contingent of police officers pictured patrolling the road.
In the image, two Police water cannons can be seen on the other side of the road.
Azimio La Umoja had called its supporters to turn out in large numbers on the said date to protest against President William Ruto’s government. In honour of the call, several parts of the country witnessed mass protests that were characterized by barricading of roads and lighting of bonfires.
But even as protests were witnessed countrywide, a section of Kenyans shared an image with claims that Thika Super Highway had been blocked.
One such claim was shared by Swift Media Ke News which posted the image on its Facebook timeline and captioned it, “Current situation on Thika road #MaandamanoWednsday.”
The Fact Checker has, however, established that the Image is not of Azimio protests held on July 12, 2023.
A Google reverse image search indicates that the image was taken on July 14, 2022.
The Star Fact Checker established that events surrounding the image were not related to the ongoing protests, but a fuel tanker accident that occurred on Thika road.
The road was barricaded to block motorists from plying on it to prevent a tragedy that may arise considering fuel is highly flammable
Additionally, a search for credible reports on Google to establish whether Thika Superhighway was blocked on the day of the Azimio protests reveals that there was no such incident.
Being a major highway that motorists ply when accessing various destinations, blocking the Superhighway during protests would have been a major news item.
The Star Fact Checker has debunked the claims shared with the image on Facebook, claiming to show the situation on Thika Road during the Azimio protest held on July 12, 2023, and established it to be false.
This fact check was published by The Star with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck and African Fact-Checking Alliance.