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‘Malicious’ – Kenyan MP Jumwa condemns false claim that 16-year-old daughter died by suicide

Has the teenage daughter of Aisha Jumwa, member of parliament for Kenya’s Malindi constituency, died by suicide? 

No. The claim is false.

On 22 May 2021 a screenshot was posted on Facebook in Kenya, with two photos.

The first is of a smiling young woman in a light green striped dress. The second, blurred-out, appears to show three people taking the body of a young woman in a light green striped dress down from roof beams.

Text above the photos reads: “Aisha Jumwa’s 16-year-old daughter Melisha Jumwa has committed suicide at Kalimoni Senior School. According to reports, she was found hanging dead in the school’s dinning hall this morning around 4:45am.”

But the photos are of a tragedy in Ghana.

Jumwa_False

Fifteen-year-old died in Ghana

A Google reverse image search reveals that the young woman in the photos is in fact Leticia Kyere Pinaman, a 15-year-old who died at Miracle Senior High School in Ghana. Suicide has been suggested, but the family suspect foul play.

BBC Pidgin reported Pinaman’s death on 19 May.

‘My family safe and sound’

On 22 May, Jumwa tweeted that claims the photos of Pinaman showed her 16-year-old daughter were “malicious”.

“Ignore any malicious rumors doing rounds on social media, that a member of my family has committed suicide,” she said.

“I want to categorically state that all members of my family are safe and sound. Let’s shun propagandist agenda and baseless rumor-mongering.”

 

 

The tweet includes a video of Jumwa expressing her outrage at the false claim.

“There is a post doing rounds on social media kuhusu msichana wa Aisha Jumwa anayesemekana amejitia kitanzi akiwa shule,” she says in the video, in a mix of Kiswahili and English.

“Nataka niseme namshukuru Mungu mimi kwa sababu ya familia yangu yote. Sisi wote ni wazima, msichana wangu ni mzima na tunamshukuru Mungu kwa ajili ya afya yake. Kwa hivyo hizi zinazo tembea kwa whatsapp groups na social media ni propaganda … I thank God for the gift of life. We are all well, alive and kicking.”

This roughly translates as: “There is a post doing the rounds on social media about my daughter who is said to have committed suicide while at school. I want to say that I thank God for my entire family. All of us are well, my daughter is well, and we thank God for her health. So, the claim circulating on WhatsApp groups and social media is propaganda … I thank God for the gift of life. We are well, alive and kicking."

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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