Is the king of Buganda dead, as a tweet shared widely on social media suggests?
The tweet reads: “Kabaka’s whereabouts remain unknown as the Kingdom summons all chiefs and royals living abroad for a private vigil by the royal family over the King’s death. The Mengo Establishment wanted a private vigil before they could pronounce his death in a few days to come. #CovidIsReal.”
Ignore fake tweet
On 1 July – a day before the screenshot was shared on Facebook – Wanyama, through his official Twitter account, said the screenshot was “fake” and tagged the Ugandan police and the communications regulator.
He wrote: “This supposed tweet assigned to me is fake. I haven’t tweeted this. I hope whoever originated this can be apprehended.”
He also asked people to “make an effort to check the author’s handle to authenticate before you share”.
But the handle and the profile photo in the digitally manipulated screenshot do match Wanyama’s Twitter account. The wording was likely added to a screenshot from his actual account.
Away from limelight, not dead
The kingdom’s prime minister, or katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, said shortly afterwards that the king was suffering from an allergic reaction “that causes him breathing difficulties, especially when he wears a mask or face shield”.
Since then, there has been widespread speculation about Mutebi II’s health and he has stayed out of the limelight.
But the kabaka was photographed on 3 August 2021 with Museveni at the presidential residence at Nakasero in Kampala.
Museveni tweeted about the meeting: “Held a meeting with His Majesty the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II at Nakasero State Lodge. His Majesty was in the company of Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga and Prince David Wasajja. We discussed matters of mutual interest.”
Ugandan media executive Don Wanyama did not tweet about Mutebi II’s death, and the Bugandan king is alive.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.