Standard Newspaper Called Out Over Unfactual Story

Africa Check, a non-profit organization that promotes accuracy in public debate and the media faulted The Standard newspaper for running a story that was not factual.

In a fact check report published on Tuesday, November 12, by Africa Check Kenya editor Alphonse Shiundu, The Standard was called out for running an unfactual news story on Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

The leading newspaper ran the story with the headline that read, "A super CS drowning in a pool of borrowed billions".

Through the October 23 story, The Standard reported that Macharia's Ministry received more than nearly half of the national development budget from 2015.

“Since 2015, he (Macharia) has been allocated on average 47% of the national development budget,” the newspaper stated through its online space.

However, the fact check report established that the statistical data used by The Standard to arrive at the 47% national development budgetary allocation was wrong.

Shiundu, the Africa Check Kenya editor revealed that over three financial years, between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2018, the Ministry of Transport was allocated. Ksh814.9 billion.

The Ksh814.9 billion budgetary allocation stood at 38% and not the reported 47%. "In unpacking the article, we saw a conflation of terms, where terms such as ‘disbursements’, ‘receipts’, ‘allocations’ and ‘expenditure’ were used interchangeably.

These are very specific terms, which can be verified using different sets of documents at the office of the controller of budget or at the National Treasury," Shiundu stated. 

Shiundu, when reached for comment by, added that allocations to the ministry could have appeared skewed because they were policy decisions.

Africa Check used the information it accessed from the Institute of Economic Affairs Kenya and the International Budget Partnership (IBP_Kenya) to fault the national daily.


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