A photo purporting to show sex workers holding a banner thanking Deputy President William Ruto for supporting their trade has been shared thousands of times on social networking platforms.
This claim is false; the photo has been doctored to include some of the writings on the banner.
A combined Google reverse image and keyword search by the Standard Digital Fact Check desk found that the original image was first posted on Septmber 19, 2012. Activists in Thika, Kiambu County were agitating for an end to violence against sex workers.
They were protesting against the killing of one of their own Peninah Nyambura and called on the government to decriminalise prostitution, an online blog said.
On the original image, the banner had the words 'Stop killing sex workers. They are human. Save us from our saviours only rights can stop the wrongs (sic)'. These were replaced with 'Asante Ruto for supporting our hustle. Wewe tutakupea free!' in the manipulated image.
Kenya Sex Workers Association – a lobby pushing for the rights of sex workers and who origanised the street protest – has also denied that the doctored image was from them or any of their member organisations.
It confirmed that the original image was from a past demonstration.
"We want to reiterate our position as a national movement that we do not engage neither endorse any political party, candidate or person," it said on Facebook.
"We wish to call on the relevant authorities to investigate the source of these images which have been used to malign certain individuals," it added.
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