Ugandan — and African culture, largely — ‘requires’ that people do not celebrate a human being’s death. People are supposed speak well about the deceased, remember the good things they did while they were still alive, and wish them a peaceful rest in heaven.
However, some Ugandans are breaking this unwritten law, celebrating the deaths of officials that have served President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government and state security agencies.
When the news of the death of Gen Elly Tumwine, the former minister of security, broke on Thursday, August 25, some Ugandans took to social media to express their gladness at the demise of the general who is famous for firing the first shot that began Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) bush war against Apollo Milton Obote II’s regime.
Even days before Gen Tumwine was pronounced dead, some people had declared him dead and had even started celebrating!
Now considered heartless and radical haters by those in power, these Ugandans say that Tumwine was behind acts of human rights violation during his tenure as minister of security.
Tumwine was minister of security from March 2018 when he replaced Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde until June 2021 when Museveni fired him and replaced him with Maj Gen (Rtd) Jim Muhwezi.
According Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze, Tumwine’s former cabinet colleague, the general from Kazo was never a populist and did not set out to please anybody.
“… we are not on earth to please people. Populists too have those they displease. We are on earth to do what is fair and correct. Gen Tumwine did exactly that. He was never a populist,” opined Tumwebaze.
Tumwebaze attributed the celebration of the death of government officials to radicalism, hate and misguided anger that he claims have been fueled by some dishonest political actors.
He further described death as an equalizer since even those celebrating Gen Tumwine’s death will one day die.
“Folks, it’s not that all citizens celebrate death of government leaders. It’s those known political actors that have promoted radicalism and hate as a political ideology. Unfortunately or fortunately, death is an equaliser. Nobody is immortal. Let’s sober up no matter our divergent views!” he noted
“Anger is not assumed. Those justifiably angry will always exude the anger, fight against injustice and win at the end. But anger driven by hate serves no other purpose and precisely celebrating the death is one symptom of it and it’s impactless/meaningless.”
Meanwhile, the body of Gen Elly Tumwine has been returned to Uganda from Kenya. (Read Story Here).
You can read Gen Elly Tumwine’s final public message to Museveni before he died, HERE.