After the death of the former minister of security, General Elly Tuhirirwe Tumwine, a section of Ugandans celebrated his death instead of celebrating his life.
This action rubbed the wrong way particularly those who were close to the fallen general and his comrades in the struggle that propelled Tumwine into the hierarchy of Uganda’s leadership which has a life span close to 4 decades now.
Drew Ddembe, a Ugandan now residing abroad, compares past deaths that were celebrated by those now castigating the ones cebrating Tumwine’s death.
My murderer is better than yours!
President Museveni celebrated the death of Idi Amin: “I can not even poke his body by a stick”
There is a danger in a single story! Do not tell me how to express my pain!
Oyite Ojok’s Death Was Celebrated By Those Mourning Tumwine.
The story of oyite ojok is a such single story!
Building a whole thesis based on those who “celebrated oyite ojoks death” without bothering to question why they celebrated his death is a major fallacy!
It does of course create the false impression that those who celebrated his death are fickle evil minded people who celebrated the death of a peaceful man who never harmed anyone!
The closest modern equivalent would be saying that those in Kasese who would celebrate general Elwelu’s death if karma were to visit him in the arse are evil as are their kin and all of their tribe and nation.
Such single sides narratives that celebrate your villain is my hero have been going on in Uganda for decades and demonstrate a lack of empathy and oversimplification of facts that is essentially best summarised as “your murderer is bad, my murderer is good”!
The contradiction is when we turn around and claim to be Ugandan nationalists … but those others are separatists and tribalism.
Until we learn to sit down and listen to the other side with empathy and understanding as to where they are coming from and why, this British experiment is a waste of time.
Incidentally some time in March, I had the same conversation with someone who took offence with a message that was going around on WhatsApp celebrating a claim that Tumwine and Kyaligonza were allegedly both unwell with advanced cancer. To this person this suggested that the author was evil minded and hateful. She thought it was in bad taste!
I asked them whether they ever wondered what personal experiences informed the person who chose to celebrate the impending deaths of these men who have caused a lot of suffering to other Ugandans in their long lives?
Your personal experience of oyite’s death as a child informing your present assessment of those who celebrated his death then or today is like a blind man claiming an elephant was long life a snake because they touched its trunk!
If you wish to tell Ugandan stories, ask for the other side of the story too and listen with empathy! There is a lot of pain and anger to go around in Uganda and it’s not only in one’s village! Acknowledge that yours is only one side of the story. Just like is unwise to hate all acholi because of the actions of one man, its also unwise to vilify those who may have been victims of that man and their whole nation!
The teeth may smile …! We cannot choose how others express their pain. Neither should we demand that others understand us when we do not seek to understand or empathise with them!
There is a danger in a single story … particularly when it’s used to justify hate for generations!
Your hero is my villain! That unfortunately is the essence of being Ugandan and until we understand that we shall forever keep going around in circles!
A single story. … is still a single story.
The mistake we make is in assuming that ours is the only story!