Celebrities are not above the law

Singers Hajjara Namukwaya alias Spice Diana and Joseph Mayanja alias Chameleone. PHOTO | COURTESY | VIDEO SCREENGRAB

What you need to know:

  • The issue: Celebrities
  • Our view: We restate that no one is above the law, all should be treated equally, and investigators and prosecutors should allow facts, not fame, to determine the direction of cases, more so where life has been lost.

Singer Hajjara Namukwaya, better known in the entertainment circles as Spice Diana, last week recorded a statement before Katwe Police after a man was allegedly fatally wounded at her premises in Munyonyo.

Police arrested two men, who are employees at Spice Diana’s residence, in connection with the death of Henry Nsamba, 27. The incident casts yet another dark shadow on the lives of celebrities. Over the years, many dark sides of the flashy lifestyles of the so-called celebrities have been revealed but it is hard to talk about prosecution of any culprit.

At the moment, it is so easy to applaud the police for taking interest in the matter. But what next? The parents of the deceased have made their own claims contrary to reports from the singer’s circles. A conclusive investigation is the only deed police owe Henry Nsamba in his final resting place.

But what is disturbing is that there is a pattern. In December 2012, Robert Karamagi was burnt to death at the home of singer Joseph Mayanja, aka Jose Chameleone, in Seguku on Entebbe Road. 

Three years later, the DPP was forced to reopen investigations after Maj Benedicto Kyamanywa, the father of the deceased, demanded to know why the file of his son was closed by Katwe Police without any suspect being brought to book.The celebrity lifestyle has not only claimed the Nsambas and Karamagis but also its own.

In March 2015, Chamelone’s youngest brother Emmanuel Mayanja, aka AK47, died “after falling in the bathroom of a pub in Kansanga”. In February 2018, Moses Ssekibugo, aka Mowzey Radio, died after he was beaten into a coma following a fight at a local hang-out in Entebbe. There have hardly been any conclusive investigations in most of these incidents and many more cases involving the high-fliers. Many a time Ugandans have been treated to spectacles of ‘celebrities’ acting above the law under the watch of helpless law enforcers.

From toting guns and threatening violence to assaulting other persons, the list is just too many. A society that cannot call out its sons and daughters when they are acting against social decorum will find it hard to bring them to book when their frosty holier-than-thou attitude pops into criminal acts.

A flip of the pages to the Western world that the local celebrities so badly want to emulate shows a different story. 

R&B singer R. Kelly, 55, is likely to spend much of the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of sexual abuse. Before him, Lil Wayne served eight months for illegal possession of firearms. Others such as Jamaican dancehall singer Buju Banton, one of reggae’s most popular artistes, served time in jail.

We restate that no one is above the law, all should be treated equally, and investigators and prosecutors should allow facts, not fame, to determine the direction of cases, more so where life has been lost. This is the professionalism and accountability we demand-and for all.

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