By Betty Nambooze

Mukono Municipality MP

I was announced (if not pronounced) dead across the social media last week by some people who to prove their case also manipulated a photograph of me in Nsambya hospital where I was briefly admitted. They correspondingly backed their story up with “my dead body” and a eulogy of sorts!!

I am still baffled that the most unlikely people called to inquire “whether it was true, that I had actually died”. It didn’t suffice that I picked up the phone for they went ahead to ask any way. I just fell short of lashing out at them which also I deemed unseemly and unrealistic of dead bodies. All the same, it was both terrible and in poor taste; this craze to break the news!!!!

As I was being dragged through this nasty development I didn’t know that the sorcerer was not done. He or she was well on their way to pick on another Member of Parliament, Beatrice Anywar. I frantically reached for my phone to compare notes with the parliamentary WhatsApp group. Interestingly even the MPs were sharing the post across with such sloppiness that they almost seemed to be rolling out a funeral programme already!!!!! Eventually and to my great relief I learnt that my sister Anywar was and is still alive.

The madness didn’t spare the Generals for yesterday evening someone holding out as a son to Hon. Maj Gen. Nuwe Amanya Mushega “killed him” and in a facebook post in outpouring of grief announced the senior retired General and legislator dead. We right away knew it was false but up to now the story is still trending on social media, attracting sympathies and condolences.

Why all the death rumours? 

The death hoaxes shouldn’t be taken lightly because we have many murderers around us. These are criminally minded people with the will to commit murder but without the courage. They would jump at any opportunity to carry out their evil deed but it just hasn’t (opportunity)shown up. I honestly think and believe that the act of spreading such malicious rumours about us needs to be checked.

These death pranks have all taken similar patterns since they target a certain type of people. The subjects are all of Members of Parliament from the Opposition. Indeed two of us have been sick, Hon Anywar due to a road accident and yours truly to attacks and torture by police. Isn’t possible that someone is trying to divert attention from the attempted murder on us? History so repeats itself that I can accurately preempt that there is a plot to eliminate an opposition figure and they are putting out this information to gauge public reaction when such a thing finally occurs.

To you the sorcerers that wish us dead, we know death is inevitable but for anyone to spread fake rumours that another person is dead causes distress to that person’s loved ones and should be fought by all of us on social media. To proclaim a person dead should be equated to homicide and the originator should traced and held accountable. For now I have decided to unfriend/block a person who sends me false news about anybody’s death.

I don’t mind if you were not the originator but sharing such unverified information is to facilitate the murderers’ motive.

Finally the social media is under attack and the powers that be have already wedged a war against it and are out discredit it. This might as well be a bigger war on social media to make people to disbelieve whatever they get to see here and therefore disregard it all together as a source of credible information. The battle to make social media a credible source of information starts with you.