Last month, September 7, after the gorilla naming ceremony – a Rwandan event held annually to mark conservation efforts by this country, one Muwanga paddy, a Ugandan tweeted “Rwandan PR is unmatched. They have the least gorillas (450 are in Uganda, about 250 in DRC and 200 in Rwanda) but make the most noise!” (Read Muwanga Paddy Tweet)
Mr. Muwanga was complaining why, in his opinion, a few Rwandan gorillas could attract huge numbers of people including international celebrities and dignitaries who flock to Rwanda to attend the unique prestigious annual event. The Hirwa family of gorillas of about 20 members, which visited Uganda recently, is reported to be one of the most vociferous.
Muwanga’s complaint and anger was grounded in jealousy, mainly because Uganda’s gorillas, despise their numbers, do not attract the international attention.
But the reason there is preference for Rwanda’s gorillas is probably because conservationists and gorilla trekkers never miss to note how organized Rwandan gorillas are, how easy to find they are given that they reach them without too much hassle; they also appreciate that they are categorized in families – with the names that seem to drive Muwanga bananas.
On the other hand, gorillas trekking is a risky and dangerous affair in Uganda: tourists visiting them never miss to lament about the risks involved, even gorillas run into serious risks.
Conservationists say that Uganda’s gorillas are smaller and shy; they have a habit of climbing up trees and hiding deeper into Bwindi impenetrable National park. Trekkers run the risk of wasp attacks, snakes bites; they are also likely to fail to see any gorillas despite the time they would have wasted in the jungles.
Let’s consider some risks in Uganda’s gorilla trek:
- In May 2018, an American Tourist was stung to death by killer wasps in Uganda as she and her group were trekking gorillas deeper into Bwindi forest.
- The Daily Monitor of Friday, May 25, 2018, reported that “A 65-year-old American tourist on Thursday died in Bwindi impenetrable National park in Rubanda District in Western Uganda after being attacked by wasps, according to Elly Matte, the Kigezi regional police spokesman told this reporter that Gloria Suemiller, a resident of Oklahoma, USA was attacked at about 10:30 am on Thursday at Katonvi, Ruhija zone in Bwindi National Park where she had gone for gorilla trekking.” (Read Daily Monitor)
The Daily Monitor also added “This is the third tourist to die in Uganda in the last two months.”
- Mukesh Shukla, 60, a British national died on April 7, 2018 as he climbed a hill in Butanda Sub County in Kabale District, also located in western Uganda.
- On April 14, 2018 Tutin Jean Piere, 63, a French national collapsed and died during a gorilla trekking trip in the northern sector of Bwindi National Park in Kanungu District.”
- Earlier this year, Apr 3, 2019, and American tourist, Kimberly Sue Endicot, 35 was kidnapped together with her guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- It is also important to note that in 1999, fighters (now renamed FDLR) killed American and British tourists in Bwindi national Park.(Read ABC News)
These are facts. These facts suggest that Rwanda’s gorillas visit to their shy and tree-climbing Ugandan cousins will be short-lived. Neither are the tourists safe nor are the gorillas.
Moreover, during their short presence there, tourists in Uganda will not have to venture deep into the jungle and climb trees to see big mountain gorillas; nor will they take the risk of wasp attacks, kidnapping, collapsing and killing by armed terrorist group. Perhaps this is the jubilation expressed by Museveni’s misinformation CMI-RNC run blogs like chimpreports and commandpost in their October 21 trolling.
RNC chief and Museveni paid propagandist – David Himbara weighed in “Kagame can run Regional Integration from Gorillas – they defied him and crossed into Uganda.” Other RNC executive members could not afford to miss the opportunity to attack Rwanda’s leadership. (Read Medium)
Sloppy Sula Nuwamanya wrote, “From fleeing gorillas who couldn’t stand Kagame’s dictatorship and Human Rights violations to his own Generals secretly recording and leaking a vidoe of his meeting with them where he angrily called for extra – judicial killing of is critics whether inside or outside. One can only say, things are nolonger at ease in Mr. Kagame’s Agatsiko.”(Read Sulah Nuwamanya )
Giles Mahama of Chimpreports, Bob Atwine of Commandpost added their vitriol under the coordination of Molly kamukama (president Museveni’s Principal Private Secretary). However, the noise they were making and that of Rwanda’s noisy gorillas that had crossed to Uganda could not wake up president Museveni, who was in deep sleep in Sochi, Russia.