The death of Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has been followed swiftly by some pieces of information in the category of rumour, fake news and fear mongering on COVID-19 in and about the country. They are spreading like a wild fire across African countries of Kenya, Congo, Uganda and Nigeria among others. A few of the Media from the West also alluded to some of the information that have turned out to be unverified, lies and fake.
Here is a fact check by Platforms Africa on six of the news items.
Fake #1 unverified yet: Preident Nkurunziza died of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a viral infection only confirmed through a medical test. No known test of COVID-19 has so far been conducted on the late Ptesident or its corpse as at todayMonday, June 15, 2020. The autopsy conducted on his corpse, according to official statement, says he died of Cardiac arrest also known as heart attack.
Fake #2 debunked: The Mother of late President Nkuruziza is alive
Many digital outlets from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and DRCongo are reporting that the Mother of Late President Pierre Nkurunziza is dead in the morning. At the moment of publishing this article(Tuesday, June 10, 2020, / 17:46) she is well and alive. This information was confirmed to RegionWeek by three sources, one from family, another was a senior official in the government, and the last source was from security services.
Fake # 3 debunked: The President of the Parliament is well and has no Covid-19
People publishing information that the President of Parliament Mr. Pascal Nyabenda has coronavirus, they are wrong, confirmed information from at least 5 sources state that he is very healthy and was in various meetings organized this Wednesday amid mourning season. A picture of him signing in the condolences book at Ntare House was shared early today, according to a trport by RegionWeek
Fake #4 debunked: The President-elect has no coronavirus and is well too
On some twitter fake accounts publishing information that the President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye has coronavirus might have been admitted this morning in a private hospital, they are wrong and that statement is false, 3 sources (Medical, Security, Official) confirmed two RegionWeek that President-Elect Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye is well and attended various meetings organized this Wednesday too.
Fake #5 debunked: RegionWeek don’t publish content in French
This Tuesday a fake screenshot was in many WhatsApp group. It was about an article written in French about a fake ceremony that took place after the announcement of the death of President Pierre Nkurunziza. We, at RegionWeek, don’t publish content in French on this day. And we have never published an article in French on our platforms.
Fake #6 debunked: Burundi Government officials are aware of Coronavirus risks and take it seriously.
Premium Medical sources have confirmed to RegionWeek that Burundi Government Officials and the Key leaders of the country have been tested many times on a regular basis since the first case of coronavirus was recorded in Burundi early March.
Stay safe, be aware of fake news!