Jakana lived to fight wars his father lost

Mourners pray for social media critic Jakana Sulaiman Nadduli during his burial in Kaddunda Village, Kapeeka Sub-county, Nakaseke District on October 24, 2022. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI.

What you need to know:

  • Opposition leaders claim his torture in the hands of State operatives likely caused his death.

The death of social media critic and controversial political activist, Suleiman Jakana Nadduli, yesterday sent shivers among his followers, friends and family.

The 37-year-old son of liberation struggle veteran and ex-minister, Mr Abdul Nadduli, was laid to rest in Kadunda Village in Kapeeka Sub-county, Nakaseke District yesterday.

Prior to his burial, a post-mortem was conducted at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala to ascertain the cause of his death. The post-mortem report is expected in three days.

His family said he died at Orient Medical Centre in Wobulenzi Town, Luweero District, where he had been taken after his health started deteriorating on Sunday.

Politicians took to social media to send condolence messages to the family.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) secretary general, Mr David Lewis Rubongoya, in a Twitter post, said: “We are in Kapeeka, Nakaseke District to stand with Mzee Hajj Abdul Nadduli and send off our brother, Jakana Suleiman Nadduli. The mood here is sombre, bitter, angry and disheartening.”

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, said: “In September, Sulaiman Jakana Nadduli was kidnapped by State operatives using the dreaded “Drone” vans. Even when he looked sick, and moving on crutches, the state was happy to keep him in detention!! Released on bail a few weeks ago, pronounced dead this morning!! Kitalo!![it is disheartening].”

Speaking at the Buganda Road Court yesterday, politician Kizza Besigye, said: “He was tortured as he was chauffeured to different detention centres.”

On social media Jakana needed no introduction. He was outspoken and critical of the government.

In his public discussions, he was always quick to remind the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government officials about the sacrifices members of his family made during the five-year Bush War that ushered President Museveni into power in 1986. 

He claimed that the NRM political high class had side-lined his father and several Bush War veterans who sacrificed their lives for the cause.

Some of the social media rants that could have possibly caused him friction with a section of the public that he targeted ended with a court case where he was arraigned before the Luweero Grade One Magistrate John Paul Obuya for spreading sectarianism against the ethnic Banyarwanda and Banyankole .

In early September Jakana’s family reported that he had been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen chauffeuring a Toyota Hiace, commonly known as drone, but later, the police revealed that Jakana arrested and would be produced in the courts of law to answer several charges.

Outside the court in Luweero on September 21, Mr Nadduli questioned the charge against his son, saying everybody in Uganda belonged to a particular tribe.

“Some people are ashamed when you refer to them by their tribes. I am a Muganda by tribe, but some feel offended when they talk about their tribes. This is the reason why my son is in court. I am proud when anybody calls me a Muganda,” Mr Nadduli.

Being a diehard supporter of Buganda Kingdom, Jakana commented passionately on topics that placed Buganda Kingdom in the spotlight.

Jakana had earlier sustained injuries in a road accident in March while riding on a motorcycle from Wobulenzi Town in Luweero District on his way to Kampala City.

The accident left him with grievous bodily injuries that he had been nursing since then. His movements were supported by a pair of crutches.

Jakana had tried his hand at different political positions but he was unsuccessful. These include the village chairperson for Kisawe Zone in Wobulenzi Town Council in 2019 and the Member of Parliament for Nakaseke Central Constituency during the 2021 General Election where he lost to former Finance Minister, Ms Syda Bumba, at the NRM primaries. He then decided to contest as an independent but still lost.