On Monday afternoon, friends and family received shocking news that their own Silva Musubika had been found body dangling, rope around neck, at his home in Namugongo, Wakiso District.
Grief clouded the city, as from every nook his pictures with his smiling face were shared with the caption- RIP, and with every share, people recalling memories of the very jolly young man who was so full of life, only to end the same life on his own.
“He was not sick, he did not mention any troubles that were threatening, we are shocked he took his own life,” one of his close friends told Nile Post.
“He was supposed to meet a colleague at about 2:30pm, so at 1:30pm, he called him and said he will be available for the meeting, it never happened, he committed suicide before the scheduled meeting,” Edward Ssendi, a business associate of Musubika narrated.
Musibika launched SMS Empire Uganda (a bulk SMS company and advertising agency) in 2008 together with partners; Tayebwa Thomas, and Mafundo Andrew. The trio would later outmuscle the pioneers in the business- Simon Kaheru’s SMS Media, to a multi million deal from President Yoweri Museveni in 2015 for his campaigns.
Known for his business acumen, Musibika also at the same time partnered with Wycliffe Luyombya and Edward Ssendi to set up West Records, a company that specialises in Radio and TV adverts.
In 2012, Musubika became the CEO for Highland Tea Uganda, a position according to his social records, he has held until the time of his death.
Days before his death
Nile Post has contacted a number of Musibika’s associates following his death, and all of them affirmed the deceased had never hinted on any troubles that were life threatening.
According to Charles Bwanika Ssensuwa, of Star FM, the deceased had taken sometime pleading with him for a tea talk but for some reason they each never got time to sit down at the tea table.
“For the past few weeks, he called me frantically, asking that we meet for a cup of tea, but we failed due to our different work schedules. Then he would call me again and complained why we have failed to meet and talk at tea. I asked that we reschedule it for another week on Monday, and still we failed to meet.” Bwanika narrated.
Bwanika said that the deceased had wanted to talk about radio management and how the two would make more money through radio programs, but once in a while he would talk about the troubles he had about the court cases he was battling and other things.
“One morning he called me after listening to Stewart Kimera’s program and he suggested we could make it better commercially, so he asked that we meet for tea again, unfortunately my son fell sick and required medical attention, so I canceled on him,” Bwanika adds.
He says that despite cancelling on Musibika for the umpteenth time, he did not take it bad, for he called him instead to advise on how to treat cough in children and “cautioned me to take the child’s cough seriously because it could be anything.”
Several days later Musubika called Bwanika hinting that he had been ailing from a certain form of poisoning. “He told me some people attempted to poison him through meat. When I went on to inquire how this happened, he later said it was just normal food poisoning. But he had earlier mentioned that a boda boda rider he sent to deliver the meat could have been targeted and he was on the run as well the the butcher who sold him the meet.”
Bwanika maintains that after sometime he got a personal misunderstanding with the deceased, but Musubika bothered to call him and apologise several times as well as asking that the tea date be made possible.
“During the misunderstanding, he called me several times and even sent a message apologising and asking we put the matter aside. He was one man who would apologise for anything even if it was not his fault.”
“We then agreed that we should have the tea meeting on Sunday, and still it did not happen. I am very certain he had so many things he wanted to tell me, and he kept pushing for the tea meeting, I can not believe I failed to meet him,” Bwanika said.
He said that despite the deceased having a number of court cases he was battling; they could not have led to his suicide. “He talked about everything regarding the cases, and they were manageable, he can’t have committed suicide over that. This must have been a very personal matter he never discussed with anyone.”
On further recalling, Bwanika affirmed that the deceased had at one time confided in him that he was leaving his house in Namugongo and moving to a temporary residence in Makerere over matters threatening his life. “He said he was receiving threats and security personnel had advised him to first leave the home with his family, but he did not discuss it in detail.”
Musubika’s business partner Wycliffe Luyombya also ruled out work related stress, saying that the deceased had his work issues but were manageable.
“He never spoke about anything personal that we suspect could have compelled him to commit suicide, besides he was not suicidal at all and his work issues were manageable according to him,” Luyombya said.
He also said the deceased did not talk to him about moving from his home in Namugongo, but it could have an element of truth.
“He died from his house, but it could be true that he had moved from his house before.”
His other partner Edward Ssendi also ruled out suicide due to work related matters. He said the deceased was managing his cases so well and “We were taken aback that he decided to end his own life.”
“He was so full of life, and was always planning ahead. We had so many plans together and were looking forward to execute them, only to hear the sad news. It is so surprising Silva took his own life, because he loved his life so much,” Ssendi said.
The body of Silva Musubika is lying in in church at St Francis Basilica Mbalwa for a requiem service from where he will be taken to his residence in Namugongo, Buto road and buried Wednesday at his ancestral home on Bushenyi.
By the time of his death, Silva was battling a court case with MTN Uganda where he was seeking compensation of Shs24b from the company for allegedly taking over database meant for SMS Empire and expiring their databases of mobile phone numbers that they spent 8 years compiling.
He was also in court with MP Peter Ssematimba in the struggle for ownership of property belonging to deceased lawyer Paulo Sebalu.
The deceased leaves behind a wife and children.