March 25, 2012 (KAMPALA/JUBA) – Police in Uganda last week summoned a renowned gospel singer, in relation to a political song that they claim could cause diplomatic row with other countries.
- Ugandan gospel singer Maggie Kayima (New Vision)
The singer, Maggie Kayima, in her new release titled, ‘Emitima Gy’abantu’ talks of how she allegedly interacted with spirits of deceased prominent figures like South Sudan late hero, John Garang, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Rwanda’s Juvenal Habyarimana, among others, in her dream.
Kayima, according to Sunday Vision, claims the spirits of those killed disclosed causes of their deaths and those who “betrayed” them.
However, Ibin Ssenkumbi, the spokesperson of Kampala Metropolitan Police told the state-owned newspaper that the song could “cause confusion and diplomatic issues” between Uganda and its neighbours.
He said police on Friday interrogated the gospel artist, but later released her “unconditionally.” Ssenkumbi said she will be asked to report back for further questioning later.
Meanwhile, Kayima reportedly told journalists that she was innocent and only composed the song after what she encountered in her dream.
An official in South Sudan’s Foreign Affair ministry downplayed the impact such a song could have, saying the matter was long resolved.
“Although I have never heard the song, I doubt if it has the potential to cause any diplomatic row between South Sudan and Uganda. It’s a matter that is sensitive, but with less impact,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
John Garang led southern rebels - the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Army (SPLM/A) for over two decades of war with various Khartoum governments until a power and wealth sharing peace deal in 2005.
Allowing South Sudan the right to secede through a referendum was a key part of the peace deal, ending a war that had cost two million lives.
Garang, died in a helicopter crash while returning from Uganda just 21 days after becoming the First Vice President of Sudan and the President of South Sudan, which became an autonomous self-governing region as part of the deal.
Salva Kiir, then Garang’s deputy replaced him in his official government positions. He also became the chairman of the SPLM and the head of the SPLA.
In January last year South Sudan voted almost unanimously to secede and on 9 July 2011 and Kiir became the nation’s first elected head of state.