I have refused to attribute the death of Juliet to mystic powers.

Distress drove me to inquire rhetorically as the bereaved often do to a friend;

But Why Ruth? Why???

And my friend true to the form of believers gave me the ageless answer,

Nobody knows Anne, but I guess God had his reasons.

It was a phone conversation and I had neither the air time nor the energy to drag Ruth into a debate about the physical and metaphysical. I knew Ruth was trying to cope and that was her way of coping. I had to find mine.

I went through it. Cried. Shunned food. Took to social media. Showed Julie’s photos to those who didn’t know her, bringing  them in on my grief… followed those going for burial to Ibanda online… anything to numb the pain,  to let my frustration out. To send Julie off.

It has been a  week now and a dull ache has taken the place of grief, but in all my efforts to cope. For the first time in life, I have refused to sign off this tragic event as an orchestration of a superior power.

The hand of God, the devil, a shortage of Angels in heaven, predestination, Jesus in dire need of company, the completion of her works here on earth, the three fates, Juriee being too good for this world….


And I guess I should turn in my christian card for extracting Jehovah out of this equation of life.

But No.




That is a death that should never have happened. It was a reckless way to lose life. It was unnecessary. It was untimely. It could have been prevented.

The blood of our friend Julie is on the heads of every bad driver, motorist,and pedestrian in this country who has perpetuated a culture of road indiscipline over the years to the point of owning their bad driving as a virtue.

It is on the government that refuses to elevate us from the stereotype of an African country with a  lamentable public service system and dysfunctional institutions rife with corruption and incompetent humans.

It is on every Ugandan who has opposed measures from the government towards road safety by mocking and rebelling against them until they suffer a premature death.

Did you complain about speed governors? Bribed an officer out of a speeding ticket? Drove when you were high?
Egged on a motorist or driver to go faster, or to wiggle through a place you would get penalized for in a country where things matter? Gone against road regulations?

It doesn’t matter if your bonnet has not been splattered with someones brains yet.

You killed our Julie and you will kill other people’s Julies.
You have been a part of the death and pain of the bereaved.

By ignoring traffic and road regulations you pass on this same disdainful attitude to other new road users and frustrate all efforts towards the cause of road safety.

It is not so much about bad roads or a lackadaisical vampire of a government as it is about our negligence and the failure to be conscious of how our individual actions affect everything else.We do not live in vacuums.

Like many Ugandans, seeing motorists ride their bikes on pavements is not something to write home about.

Motorists, drivers and cyclists drive on public roads without lights.

I have been grazed by a bike on a pedestrian foot path. He had no headlamps, it was pitch dark in the night and the town had no electricity. His bike’s engine was a silent wheeze that you couldn’t distinguish from background noise.

You will know you were going to be run over when they curse at you and tell you to get out of their way.

Ugandan drivers and motorists never ever hold themselves accountable for anything. They just hurl insults at their victims or at each other.

Its only been a week since Juliet passed on and  I am suffering from paranoia.

I am afraid that every time I hug someone, it might be the last time.. I am afraid of dying in a second. Of leaving my mother childless. Of getting another bad phone call about someone I know. I am afraid. Afraid of my friends losing body parts.


The girl looking out of that photo is Doreen Tushabe, another 20 something year old graduate who finished her life as a scarlet map on a main road yesterday. It was a motorbike accident.

This is our Juliet. Our Firecracker whom we lost to our recklessness. Our culture that refuses to be progressive. A culture that exonerates itself of all blame and  heaps it onto the government, God and Satan.



Look at them and be guilty of the times you have manipulated a system for your own interests. The time you have deliberately broken a law, for whatever excuse.

Suffer from their gaze for every time  you clapped and hooted over the fact that Ugandan road safety measures have failed to work, in our country.

Seat belts, helmets, speed governors, Kampala Capital City Authority’s move to reduce the city’s congestion.

We need to end the culture of road indiscipline in Uganda. Our children are watching as we overtake in sharp corners and spew profanities at the other driver when we almost cause a head on collision.

God is not in need of more Angels and neither is Jesus  so lonely that he should live us grief stricken to satisfy his needs. We shoved Julie down God’s throat.

I know you are moving on from Juliet but don’t move on.

Rage, rage, rage against her death.

A conversation on road safety in Uganda  has already been started by one of Julie’s friends Racheal Bashabe ; under the name of Juliet Tumwesigye foundation.

There is also #regulatebodabodas is a hash tag on twitter on the theme.

Support this cause financially and intellectually.

Her Julie died and she has been moved to save every one’s Julie.

Rally behind her. It is time for a revolution.



  1. Thanks Ann, for the last two weeks, people have been throwing blames to boda boda guys and we forget that it’s us who give them instructions on how we to get were we are going. we forget that we seat in these cars and drive them drunk and ignore traffic rules and regulations. we are corrupt to the bone, that’s what we are.
    and that’s a vice we need to uproot so as never again to lose our Julies ever again

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right, I am in Boda boda riders are usually people who have not gone far in formal education or have come out of a rural area, they follow an example of the Kampala’s elite and city dwellers who are already screwing up. Thank you for reading and for your feed back.



  2. So true about us always choosing to blame God or the government instead of taking responsibility, and ditto with the paranoia.. I feel like I should walk to places! R.I.PJulie and Doreen 😦


  3. This is really sad and hearting breaking. May God give us the grace and wisdom to be the change we want to see in our country. Where’re we headed as a country if our lives no longer matter and can be lost in a flicker of a moment.


  4. The death of those two young ladies in such a reckless manner has left me numb. Every time I look at their beautiful smiles I can’t help but feel the terrible pangs of pain as if these sweet souls were my own siblings or even daughters.
    I now don’t want to get even within an inch of a boda boda.
    Something needs to be done!

    Thanx for this article.


    1. Its just too painful Clare, one needn’t know the personally to feel the loss. I didnt know Doreen but I have grieved her too. We cant go on with such a track record. I can’t with boda bodas too any more. Its just too much. Thank you for the feed back.


  5. I’m in total support of this cause and I hope Ugandans can realise the premature deaths we are causing. I’m a survivor of a recent hit and run accident by some mechanic who probably didn’t have a permit and was busy road testing moreover on a rainy day(slippery road). I thank God for His mercy upon all of us who were in that car but grief for the loss of the those who have passed on.


  6. Reblogged this on PKahill and commented:
    We all have a hand in it… Yes, we do!

    But what about God’s hand, where is it in this? I asked myself this question that nite when I got that message, I loudly cried out to Him and said No! It was and still not fair! I asked Him what was He upto, what does this death mean to us, I even went so far to asking Him why her and not(will not mention). I questioned Him, I pleaded with Him, asked Him to perform miracles, even mentioned Jon Snow in plead.

    He only said this; “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I HAVE NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED; BUT THAT THE WICKED TURN FROM HIS WAY AND LIVE: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” – Ezekiel 33:11

    I didn’t understand what He meant nor did I care. All I wanted was Julie back, we had plans, she was excited to work with me. She had solutions to accounts and taxes, she was my run to for a joke, a call to her was a refill to my peace charm cup.

    On sunday I re read the verse and somehow understood it. (Still read and praying for in depth understand than what I have, @Nevendar and @therisingpage I need your help on this.)

    He said He doesn’t delight or take pleasure in the death of the wicked, it grieves his heart and for Julie He was not grieved be cause I think He was, we wouldn’t be doing the things we are doing in honour of her (Juliet Tumwesigye Birungi Foundation).

    Then I found this verse, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and GRIEVED HIM at his heart.” Genesis 6:5-6.

    Now I am repenting.


  7. This is a really great article..please don’t give up this campaign..Great read…RIP to these great souls…#RegulatebodabodasUg


  8. My God!!! i just remembered my friend , my good good friend Deo Nambooze who died in 2004 same thing Thug drivers!!!! I miss her, i still cry for her, we had been friends, partners in crime 7 years, yet 12 yrs later my heart still aches for her!!! Bad driving!!!! I ALMOST lost my friend charlotte just this week!!! bad drivers!! God save us!!! Save our children, frined and our lives from these bad motorists!!


  9. Thank you so much so much for this. Julie was a personal friend and former classmate. Doreen was a cousin of mine. Thank you for the effort in the fight for road safety and awareness on the Julie foundation. We really need to do better.


  10. “But No.




    That is a death that should never have happened. It was a reckless way to lose life. It was unnecessary. It was untimely. It could have been prevented.” Do not hand in your christian card, I am with you, this was a death that never should have happened. I wasn’t even friends with Julie and my heart breaks every time I see her picture.

    Liked by 1 person

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