Opposition political party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and various leaders have on Wednesday wished a speedy recovery to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah who is currently receiving specialised treatment at a Seattle based hospital in the U.S.

He was rushed to America on February 3, 2022 aboard a chartered Uganda Airlines’ Airbus A330-800 neo. The Speaker had earlier been admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital before being discharged and flown.

The Director, Communication and Public Affairs at Parliament, Chris Obore on Tuesday said that the deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among travelled to the U.S to check on her hospitalized boss. Reports have since indicated that Among was accompanied by Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo, DP President Norbert Mao and Oulanyah’s close relatives.

Now, in a statement on Tuesday, opposition political party, FDC said they wish a fast recovery to the Speaker despite differing in political beliefs.

“We send our thoughtful prayers to the Speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah, with the hope that you will feel better and bounce back strong as a bull. Regardless of our political differences, it’s a reminder that we are one Uganda, one people. We pray for a quick recovery,” the party indicated.

Former Jinja West MP Moses Balyeku expressed hope that Oulanyah will soon be back to his feet.

“I am sending you Hon Jacob Oulanyah get well wishes and heartfelt hopes that you are beginning to turn corner with your health. The road ahead may seem slow, but I am hoping that before long, you will be able to join us again. I look forward to having you lead way again. Get well soon,” Balyeku wrote on Twitter.

The Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye said: “I send you Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah my best wishes for your recovery. Your patience will help you to fully recharge and be back, powerful as ever. I am looking forward to your return.”

Nakaseke Woman Member of Parliament, Sarah Najjuma told the Speaker in a tweet that he will soon be well as long as he remains patient and hopeful.

“I am very sorry that you are not feeling well right now. In such moments it is hard to believe that things will soon return to normal. Remember: This is not a race. The most important task is that you take one step at a time. Before you know it, you will have reached the end of this road, and all will be normal again. I can’t wait for you to be back,” Najjuma tweeted.

In a moving plea during today’s NRM Parliamentary caucus at Kololo independence grounds, the Govt Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa requested Party Members to put their very own senior colleague and brother Oulanyah in prayers for a quick recovery.

On Tuesday, social media was awash with reports that Oulanyah had passed on, allegations that Obore and other authorities dismissed and asked the public to refrain from circulating fake news.

It has been common for high profile Ugandans to be declared dead on social media when they are alive. For instance, Kabaka of Buganda Ronalda Muwenda Mutebi, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and former Electoral Commission Chairperson Dr. Badru Kiggundu were last year declared dead.

In the same year in April, several social media platforms reported that President Yoweri Museveni had died while others have indicated that he had been admitted in a critical condition in a neighboring country after reportedly acquiring COVID-19.

However, speaking at the swearing-in of ministers at the Kololo independence grounds, Museveni said it is wrong to announce someone who is alive dead.

“Social media apparently has been saying that Museveni is dead. The other day when I went to that side of Bombo to lay a foundation people were looking at me (with shock) because they had been told by social media that Museveni is dead or something like that,” Museveni said.

“The security service needs to also solve that problem. I need to check with them so that we locate quickly those who tell such a story because you waste people’s time. We should go for you. We should locate where you are and go for you. If you’re in Europe, we denounce you and say go to hell,” he added.

A one Jamilu Ssekyondwa, a resident of Luweero district was arrested for allegedly circulating the fake news claiming that President Museveni had died.

On July 29 last year, while presiding over a plenery, Oulanyah who described the act as evil, wondered why someone who is alive is declared dead.

Police then, said their hunt of suspects in such cases is hampered by difficulties of investigating digital crimes, for instance unmasking many faces behind pseudo social media accounts, people using Virtual Private Networks are hard to nab.

CID spokesperson, ASP Charles Twiine, however said police have built capacity in cyber investigation that will be put to use when locating fake news purveyors and that such investigations will be carried out with support of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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