Deputy speaker of Parliament, Annet Anita Among has asked the public to disregard rumors pertaining the health of Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, saying her boss is responding well to treatment.

“Fellow Countrymen and Women, Our leader and brother the Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah is receiving treatment as recommended by the doctors. Disregard the falsehoods making rounds on social media about his health. I ask all people of good will to pray for a speedy recovery for him,” writes the Deputy Speaker.

Oulanyah is currently in the U.S where he was rushed February 3, 2022 aboard a chartered Uganda Airlines’ Airbus A330-800 neo. He was first admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital before being discharged and flown.

On Sunday afternoon, social media was awash with reports that his condition had deteriorated. In fact, a Twitter post which has since been confirmed fake, attributed to the UPDF Commander land forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, announced him dead.

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.

“If somebody is sick, why declare that person dead? What has happened to us… what has happened to us? People hold prayers for sick people, other hold parties for others to die in this country. Evil is taking over Uganda, we must resist it,” noted Jacob Oulanyah.

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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