The East African should know better

This morning, Thursday, 8th December 2016, from a face book wall, my attention was brought to an article that is published in The East African. The face book post quoted and published the following extract from the article (copied verbatim from my friends wall):

A battle-hardened soldier, born-again Christian, and gentleman, Brig Elwelu, led the first contingent of Ugandan troops—Battle Group One (UGABAG1), which landed under a hail of fire in Mogadishu on March 6, 2007—under auspices of the US/European Union funded African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom).

Brig Elwelu, who left a smoking palace and several dead on Sunday, now stands at the precipice of history as being only the second military officer to have commanded the invasion of a traditional kings palace in post-independence Uganda. The first was then Maj Gen Idi Amin Dada, who in May 1966 stormed the Lubiri, Kabaka Edward Muteesa’s palace leaving it up in smoke and several dead. (Source: The East African)

See the descriptors of Elwelu – born-again Christian – how is it relevant information to a military mission? Is it the journalist’s intent to suggest that a born-again Christian hailed fire and defeated a state in which Islam is the predominant religion practiced or what?

One would expect that a paper such as The East African would do better than to engage in such irresponsible journalism which foments anger against groups of people and therefore fans flames of genocide and war.

When major publications such as The East African do this, they provide a basis for toxic hate and xenophobia, such as was exhibited by a one Babimulululu Silas who trolled another post on face book.

In comment to a celebratory post on face book which was advertising the fabulous Teso Family Show, a show which subsequently was a massive success, Babimulululu wrote:

We won’t come, you itesoits grommed a baffon that murdered our people in kasese, we demonstrate against your poor parenthood to elwelu and you have not come out to criticise him” (copied and pasted here verbatim).

First, the advert was not meant for him. It was meant for ITESO and other Ugandans not the uncouth such as Babimulululu obviously is. And then intentionally or unintentionally Babimululu insults the people of Teso by referring to them as “itesoits” – we are Iteso not itesoits. Second – no need to bother engaging his nonsense. Third, one  knows for sure that he is not representative of the Ugandan first nations that call Kasese their home.

But for The East African irresponsible journalism is unforgivable. And the article’s title, The East African REALLY:

“The commander behind Uganda’s deadly palace invasion.”

Since when do commanders executing orders given to them by their superiors become the person’s behind the orders? A reputable publication such as The East African should not sink this low – going after the low hanging fruit.

Articles that are published in The East African have a wide reach and power. The East African, thus, should take care not to allow articles that potentially foment hate and therefore genocide to see the light of day on its pages.


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