Social media kills Specioza, collapses Museveni in US


Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe

There are suggestions pushing for Ugandan social media platforms to be tried for murder.

This month, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook platforms in Uganda have so far killed two prominent politicians.

They started by pronouncing ailing minister of ICT, John Nasasira, dead when he was actually outside the country for treatment.

As we entered the weekend, messages pronouncing the former Vice President, Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe, dead.

Also referred to as “Nnalongo”, because of her twin daughters, Specioza was Vice President of Uganda from 1994 to 2003.

She was the first woman in Africa to hold the position of vice-president of a sovereign nation.

In August 2013, she was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon as United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

It is not clear how the rumour of her death started but it surely spread like wildfire on social media.

Government spokesman, Ofwono Opondo, was fast and swift in clearing the air.

“Speciosa Kazibwe as fit as a fiddle, just spoken to her by phone,” Opondo said in a tweet, adding that she was at her home relaxing.

Social media turns attention to Museveni, says he collapsed

After the Specioza death rumour had made its rounds, another one was quickly hatched up to keep social media enthusiasts entertained.

The new one had it that President Yoweri Museveni who is New York with First Lady, Janet Museveni, had actually “collapsed” in his hotel.

According to the rumour, Museveni had just held a bilateral meeting with Tanzanian president, Jakaya Kikwete, who advised him not to seek for re-election in 2016.

Another version said he had met Susan Elizabeth Rice, the United States National Security Advisor, and talked to US president, Barack Obama, on phone.

The rumour further insinuates that other leaders including the South Korean president, Prime Minister of Netherlands and Ghanaian president all “advised Museveni not to return to power in 2016 or he will be forced out”.

This according to the tale, saw Museveni “collapse in his hotel upon which guards summoned medical doctors to examine him”.

The first person to dismiss the claim was Sarah Kagingo, the social media guru who digitized Museveni’s communications.

She shared the pictures of Museveni with the Pope and said: “had decided to ignore the lies widely circulated this morning on WhatsApp and Facebook about Uganda’s Fountain Honour who continues to make our country proud; co-chairs the UNGA summit at which new SDGS were adopted, delivers a great statement to world leaders”.

She warned those who are in “the habit of generating lies, death announcements and carrying out postmortems on their victims by, I imagine, WhatsApp and Bluetooth!”

There was yet another parallel rumour saying the president’s bandaged right hand had “worsened with cancer”.

Before leaving for US, Museveni explained that his right hand been hit by a car door while on Japan tour and was being treated, saying there was no cause for alarm.

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