20 December 2012

Uganda: Butaleja Divided in Mourning

News of Cerinah Nebanda's death has paralyzed her constituents in Butaleja.

Most activities have ground to a halt. Most people spend the day in groups discussing the cause of her demise. In the usually busy trading centres of Nabiganda, Butaleja and Busolwe town council most shops were closed. Some traders we talked to said they had lost the will to work after the death of 24-year-old Nebanda, whom many describe as a mother to them.

"The death of our MP has hit us so much that we don't have the guts to go to our gardens or even open shops. She has been everything to us because we have never had an MP like her," Yahaya Kitunzi, one of the locals from Namulo in Himutu sub county said.

He added that most people don't believe Nebanda died of natural causes. However, others are worried that the MP's imminent funeral could explode into chaos.

"The situation is not good. We are on tenterhooks, there could be bloodshed at the burial of Nebanda from what we are witnessing from some groups...," Swaib Mukama, another resident from Nabiganda said.

There are reports of three groups likely to fight each other. They include those backing Nebanda, those for her predecessor Dorothy Hyuha and those supporting the government.

In her time in Parliament, Nebanda built three schools and sponsored several income generating activities for youths. The residents believe that she spent the Shs 103m car allowance given to MPs to construct one of the schools.

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