Truth Behind Obama's Low-Key Mombasa Trip Reports

  • Former US President, Barrack Obama, resorted to a quiet life after handing over the government to incumbent Donald Trump in 2017, occasionally tweeting on a few critical issues and interacting with his followers on Twitter. 

    However, on Tuesday, January 14, reports surfaced alleging that Obama had toured Mombasa County, where he launched his bid for Kenyan presidency in the much anticipated 2022 elections.

    Israel-based World News Daily Report, a satirical fake news website, originally published the story catching off-guard media houses such as state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation which followed suit, later pulling it down.

    President Barrack Obama with half-sister Auma Obama during the launch of Sauti Kuu Foundation in Kogelo, Siaya County in July 2018

    Other local media houses in Zimbabwe also published the story that was shared widely on the Zimbabwean social media space which claimed that during his visit to Mombasa, Obama was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, chanting his name.

    "I am a bit disgusted with American politics recently while seeing Kenya struggle. I realised I needed to do something to help my homeland.

    "I was able to solve the US' worse economic crisis in its history and put it on the right track until they elected a reality TV star. I can certainly help Kenya," a humorous quote attributed to Obama by the satirical website reads.

    Snopes, a fact-checking website, debunked the reports, indicating that the World News Daily Report had a disclaimer on their website which serves to inform that they are fake publishers.

    "World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle," the disclaimer reads.

    According to the promulgated 2010 Kenyan Constitution, Obama cannot vie for Kenyan presidency as he is not a Kenyan citizen and he owes allegiance to a foreign state. 

    Obama's last visit to Kenya was in July 2018, during the launch of his half-sister, Auma Obama's, Sauti Kuu Foundation, a vocational training centre in Kogelo, Siaya County.

    "Its good to be back. It's a joy to be back with so many people who are family to me and so many people who claim to be family to me. Everybody is a cousin," Obama remarked which saw the audience burst into laughter as he later recounted his first visit to Kenya in the 1980s.

    His Kenyan ancestry has been a contentious issue since he assumed office as the 44th US president in 2008. 

    Barack Obama in Nairobi in 1987. In January 2020, fake reports surfaced alleging that he had expressed interest in Kenya's presidency