Standard Group Kenya has exposed MediaMax-run K24 TV for reporting a fake story.
In an article published on Monday evening on their official website, Standard Media reported as fake a story K24 had posted on Twitter alleging that a couple in Kisumu committed suicide after failing to pay their Sh7.6 million wedding debt.
“That report is fake news. Nothing of the sort happened here. I confirmed with the Kisumu police if a statement was recorded in relation to the incident but there is nothing like that on their records,” Standard Group journalist Harold Odhiambo said.
K24 TV carried the story during its morning talk show and further posted it on its Twitter page, while captioning the post with a comment on the couple’s misfortune. The station, however, did not give more specific details such as the names of the couple or the exact location.
It was also reported that in the suicide note left behind, the couple was stressed that they could not go for a honeymoon.
”We are embarrassed & ashamed that we could not start our new life in happiness because you people did not make us happy as we expected,” the letter reportedly says.
“Two families in Kisumu are mourning their two children who together committed suicide 4 days after their beautiful wedding. According to Sources, the newly married couples allegedly killed themselves because of the huge debt they incurred after their wedding,” K24 posted.
According to Standard, Kenya Today, a local blog, was the first one to publish the story on December 15 before several other blogs like Jumiadealske.com, globalnews.com, africacelebrities.com, breakingnews.com, expressiveinfo.com and alternativeafrica.com spread the fake story, which spread to as far as Ghana.
A few Kenyans were keen to notice that the story appeared to be fake.
“Anyone within Kisumu to confirm this! This story looks like a fabricated story! I once read it from a Naija blog then yesterday on “Kenya Todays” blog. The story just doesn’t add up!” Isaac Ongoma said.
However, most unsuspecting Twitter users expressed sympathy as others sent condolence messages.
“Wedding are just for showing off to your ‘friends’ coz only 2 witnesses and a priest are needed, the rest ni gutee[sic],” Karelina the Muinist said.
“This is sad living within your means has never been a bad thing can we please embrace our situations,” added Sheillah Wafula.