The Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF has condemned social media antics for declaring Gen. Elly Tumwine dead. It follows a trending Twitter post announcing the departure of the four star General on Sunday night.
“It is with untold grief that we announce the death of our patriotic soldier and friend to the nation, Gen Elly Tumwine who has passed on at 10pm at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi where he was airlifted on Thursday. The UPDF shall communicate further arrangements”, the false Twitter post read.
UPDF spokesman Brig Felix Kulayigye, in response on Monday morning described the post as a ‘shame’, saying: “If modernity is equivalent to wizardly, then I would rather remain backward. In a society with norms, No one wishes another dead!!! But some people are going to a great length to declare the living, dead!”
Earlier, Gen Tumwine’s daughter, Cynthia Tumwine tweeted and dismissed the social media rants. “Adversity will teach you so much about human nature. That said I wouldn’t wish the last 24 hours on anyone. Time travel needs to undo social media because it’s currently in the pits. God is faithful regardless though. We give him praise”, she tweeted.
Tumwine, 68, is a retired Ugandan military officer, an artist and educator. He was former Security Minister from 2019 to 2021. He also served as commander of the then National Resistance Army-NRA from 1984 to 1987.
Write-ups about Tumwine’s alleged demise started trickling in on social media on Friday following his evacuation to Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya earlier in the week. It is not the first time social media is announcing Gen Tumwine’s ‘demise’, and other high profile government officials.
Other personalities who have recently been announced ‘dead’ on social media yet they were still alive include the late Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, State Minister in charge of Karamoja Agnes Nandutu, and Eng Hillary Onek, the Lamwo County MP and Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.