By Alex Balimwikungu
All Souls’ Day is today (November 2) and religious people from across the world will come together to celebrate the ‘Day of the Dead’ to honour those who have passed by visiting cemeteries and sharing prayers.
In Uganda, there will be special prayers for the departed souls; an initiative of the Uganda Musicians Association. That aside, we have dead celebrities, who, in all fairness, should be allowed to rest in peace and not be exploited.
They might have been long gone, but they still linger on. This has driven many to the conclusion that these departed souls have refused to rest.
Thirty-two years ago, Philly Lutaaya, then one of the best musicians from Africa, shocked the world by announcing that he was suffering from AIDS.
He spent the next eight months of his life championing the fight against the deadly virus around the world.
That very year, on December 15, 1989, he died and was buried in Bunamwaya, a city suburb. Years after his death, he remained very much alive for his Christmas songs.
However, 28 years after his death in 2017, his body was exhumed. His remains, together with those of six other relatives, were relocated to Gomba, his ancestral home.
It came amid allegations that his family members were wrangling over the 10-acre-piece of land that they planned to sell off to a land developer.
The family denied the allegations and claimed that the decision was taken so that Lutaay is buried next to his parents.
Paul Job Kafeero
He was mostly talked about in death than in life. A celebrated composer, he died at Mulago Hospital in 2007.
His estate has been a subject of controversy. For years, a bitter fight among the family of the late kadongo kamu legend has raged, with some of his children accusing their siblings of not having Kafeero’s true blood. It got to a point that they wanted him exhumed for DNA samples, but they were dissuaded.
Pastor Augustine Yiga
Controversial city pastor Augustine Yiga alias Abizaayo, the founder of Revival Church Kawaala, died two years ago. However, he continues to make headlines.
Recently, the High Court authorised bailiffs to auction the land on which his Kawaala-based Revival Church stands in order to enforce the recovery of a sh158m debt.
The heir has spent the last two years in court battling over his late father’s debts; a battle that has made him a recluse. This was compounded by his ‘mother’ Nabbi Omukazi, demanding sh700m claiming she is the co-founder of ABS TV and wanted her dividends following Yiga’s death
He was one of the funniest comedians in Uganda, but when Paddy Bitama Ssali died, there wasn’t anything funny around the circumstances under which he died.
In death, he became subject of a DNA test when a man, Peter Njegula came up and claimed he was the biological father.
The results from the Government Analytical Laboratory supported Peter Njegula and not Richard Ssali as paternally related to Bitama.
The popular comedian’s burial was delayed after two families claimed him as one of their own. Richard Ssali’s clamour for compensation fell on deaf ears.
When news of Emmanuel Mayanja’s death broke, there was a lot of speculation about the cause. The most prominent was that Mayanja aka AK-47, had been beaten to death. Cue the controversy.
The pub was closed, but no arrests were made. In the ensuing years, the speculation has always been there with the family querying authority.
More recently, the news of his wife Nalongo Maggie Kayima getting married to another musician, Raba Daba, brought him back in the news.