Journalists have now turned into pathologists and Prophets – Sefa Kayi over John Kumah’s poisoned claims

Renowned broadcaster Kwami Sefa Kayi, host of the popular morning show “Kokrokoo” on Peace FM in Ghana, has advised journalists against spreading unfounded speculations regarding the death of Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah.

John Kumah passed away last Thursday on his way to the hospital, leaving behind a wife and six children.

Some reports, notably from Onua TV’s morning show Presenter Captain Smart, suggest that the late Deputy Minister succumbed to food poisoning, allegedly as part of a plot to prevent his ascent within the New Patriotic Party.

Without singling out anyone, Kwami Sefa Kayi criticized the journalistic practice of making claims without evidence, especially concerning sensitive matters like someone’s death.

He questioned whether those asserting food poisoning had considered the potential harm their comments might inflict on the grieving family, particularly the widow and her children.

Sefa Kayi expressed concern over the erosion of ethical standards among journalists, noting the tendency for some to act as both pathologists and prophets in discussing the causes of a person’s death.

He emphasized the need for evidence before making such serious allegations.

In response to the situation, the widow of John Kumah has taken legal action against Captain Smart, demanding substantiation of his claims in court.

She expressed frustration and sadness over the false claims, urging authorities to hold Captain Smart accountable for spreading misinformation.

“If it is true that a person who is not dead but alive claims that he knows how my husband (John Kumah) died and that he was poisoned, and that person is still moving around for the past three weeks, it hurts me, it saddens me and I do not know how best to express my frustrations about these false claims by Captain Smart”, the widow lamented in an interview on Asaase radio.

She added; “If there are laws in this country concerning such false claims, I think this is the time for the leadership of the land to bring that wicked person (Captain Smart) to book to prove his false claims and to point out the persons who were involved in the poisoning of my late husband.”

“This is why I am saying the National Media Commission, GJA, Media Foundation for West Africa, as for this, I plead with you to say something because we are the journalists doing the work and we should be able to look at ourselves and say these are low, low dirty standards.”

On his show, Sefa Kayi called upon the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), and the Media Foundation for West Africa to address the issue, emphasizing the importance of maintaining high journalistic standards.

“Journalists have now turned into pathologists and Prophets…We’ve lost ethics as human beings. Someone is dead and in no time, people are on radio and TV discussing the cause of his death. His wife has filed a complaint. If right now, you who claim to know he was poisoned is asked to provide evidence, where are you going to get the evidence?”, Mr. Sefa Kayi admonished.

“Why is it that someone (referring to Captain Smart) has been this bold to claim that he knows for a fact that a person like John Kumah who has served his country virtually all his life, was poisoned, while he was working for his country and party (New Patriotic Party, NPP), why should we sit down and not bring that person to book.

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