Fact CheckPolitics

Photo of African leaders in a bus-driving position not from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

Claim: Social media users are claiming that some African leaders were made to drive the buses that conveyed guests to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

The circulating photos used to back the claim are from unrelated events.

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Photos of some African leaders being bussed to the venue of Queen Elizabeth’s state burial at Westminster Abbey in London have emerged online.

Some of those spotted are newly sworn-in Kenyan President, William Ruto, and Tanzania’s Samiel Suluhu.

A photo featuring Ghana’s President, President Nana Akufo-Addo with broad smiles and holding the steering wheel of what looks like a bus, has also gone viral. A Twitter user with over 120k followers posted the photo and captioned it:

“Nana Addo drove one of the coaches that carried African presidents (lesser leaders) into Buckingham Palace.”

While some may have considered the post a joke, others seem to have believed it.

Another user also posted a photo of Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa in a bus driving posture, claiming he was driving the bus that was conveying African leaders to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral venue.

Several others made this claim and these can be found here, here, here, and here.


After running a reverse image search for the photo of President Akufo-Addo and President Mnangagwa, we observed that they originated from events that are unrelated to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, those two images have existed on the internet since 2019. 

In the case of President Akufo-Addo, we were led to a February 2019 publication by Graphic which was about the presentation of 140 vehicles to the Ghana Armed Forces.

An April 2019 publication by Nehanda Radio, a Zimbabwean radio station, features the same photo of President Emerson Mnangagwa seated behind the steering wheel of a bus. 

Were the two leaders present at the funeral?

Several photos and videos from the Westminster Abbey have captured President Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, in attendance. However, it is uncertain if the Zimbabwean president was in attendance.

A publication by Zimbabwean newspaper, The Herald, indicated that President Emerson Mnangagwa had assigned his Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Frederick Shava, to attend on his behalf. German newswire, DW, corroborates this. This makes it very unlikely for President Mnangagwa to have attended the funeral.

The decision to convey dignitaries to the funeral using buses 

Ahead of the funeral, invited dignitaries were informed that they would be bussed en masse from a site in 88west London.

A publication by Politico explained that the decision was taken “because of limited space at the state funeral service and associated events.”

The US President, Joe Biden, and a few other foreign dignitaries were, however, exempted from the bus ride for “security reasons.”

Who were the bus drivers?

DUBAWA has monitored reports from several international media outlets such as thenationalnews.com, standardmedia.co.ke, Yahoo.com, and independent.co.uk but none of them gives an indication that the drivers of the buses were African leaders.


It is not true that African leaders were made to drive the buses that conveyed guests to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

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