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Cartoonist Jim Spire ‘fears for life’ after exposing govt rot on social media

Jim Spire, a columnist with Observer newspaper and lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University recently took to Twitter to expose the plight of Uganda government institutions calling for correction from concerned authorities.

Dr Jimmy 'Jim' Spire Ssentongo, a cartoonist and columnist with the Observer Newspaper

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Ugandan cartoonist, Dr Jimmy ‘Jim’ Spire Ssentongo has revealed that his life is in danger following a social media campaign he spearheaded that exposed the rot in various government institutions over the recent weeks.

Jim Spire, a columnist with Observer newspaper and lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University recently took to Twitter to expose the plight of Uganda government institutions calling for correction from concerned authorities.

The campaign which started with the #Kampalapotholesexpo showcased the sorry state of Kampala roads and caused panic in government that prompted President Museveni to immediately convene a meeting with the KCCA ED Dorothy Kisaka, he ordered Finance Ministry to release Shs6bilion to fix the potholes in the capital.

The most successful was the Uganda Health Exhibition in which Ugandan health workers, patients and other Ugandans shared their experiences on access to healthcare services. This however did not go well with the ICT Minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi publicly saying on local TV that government can’t lose sleep because netizens are exposing the bad roads and hospitals.

Now in the latest development, just two days into the security exhibition that launched on Monday, Spire has revealed that there are ‘evil plans’ targeting him although he did not divulge further details. He also made it clear that he had done his best and would take a break for a time but warned those threatening him that more people will come up to demand better services and expose government failures.

“I’m aware of evil plans aimed at me. Well, I’ve made my humble contribution. I hope this country traces its soul. I hope a time comes when we ask ourselves: Is this the best we can be? I leave now…” Spire wrote, throwing his followers and several netizens in shock.

The self-proclaimed ‘campaigner for social justice‘ expressed the resolve that not everyone would be silenced in the end because he and others are only alarm bells which can be easily silenced, but a time will come when snakes arrive in silence.

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Reacting to his decision to quit, Dr Kizza Besigye, the leader of the People’s Front for National Transition movement encouraged the cartoonist not to give up, advising that leaving the stage would not take away the “evil plans”.

“Hey Prof! I can imagine what’s going on around you. However, leaving will not take away the “evil plans”! You’re safer keeping your guard up- fighting to get rid of the source of “evil plans!” Besigye wrote.

The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party also added the voice to its former President and urged Spire to stand up and have his voice registered on the Richter scale.

“Oppressors stifle the voices of freedom because oppression can only thrive where there is silence,” FDC said in a statement.

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Nicolas Opiyo, a Human Rights lawyer replied; “Prof. remember, no one kicks a dead dog. You have done your part. The rest is for history to judge. Keep the faith and keep on fighting the good fight.”

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