When funerals become battlegrounds for politicians

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When funerals become battlegrounds for politicians
Dr Abed Bwanika let his feelings known at a funeral in Lwengo | Zainab Ssengendo

Funerals, once a sacred space for grieving and celebrating the lives of loved ones, have become an unlikely battleground for political ideologies. The increasing trend of politicising funerals has left many mourners feeling divided, disrespected, and distraught.

In recent months, several high-profile funerals have made headlines for the wrong reasons. Eulogies have turned into political rallies, with speakers using the platform to push partisan agendas and settle scores.

The mourners, gathered to pay their respects, are instead subjected to heated debates and divisive rhetoric.

"This is not the time or place for politics," said Jane Nampiima, a grieving family member. "We come to funerals to honor our loved ones, not to be lectured on political ideologies."

The phenomenon is not limited to high-profile funerals. Local services have also been affected, with some families feeling pressured to include political elements in the ceremony to appease certain relatives or friends.

"Funerals should be a time for unity and compassion, not division and politics," said Rev John Smith, a local pastor.

"We need to reclaim this sacred space and focus on comforting the grieving, rather than fueling political fires."

FDC leader Patrick Amuriat accused Katonga faction leader Kizza Besigye of "turning the late Sarah Eperu funeral into a joke".

Experts attribute the trend to the increasing polarization of society and the blurring of lines between personal and political spaces.

"Social media has created an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their political views at any moment, including during sensitive events like funerals," said Dr John Opio, a sociologist.

"This has led to a normalisation of politicising personal spaces, including funerals."

As the trend continues, mourners are left to wonder if the sanctity of funerals can be preserved. Can we find a way to honor our loved ones without politicising their memory?

The answer lies in reclaiming funerals as a space for love, respect, and unity. Let us remember that, in the face of loss, our shared humanity should be the only agenda that matters.

This article highlights the growing concern that politics is encroaching on the sacred space of funerals, causing division and discomfort among mourners.

It quotes various individuals, including a grieving family member, a pastor, and a sociologist, to provide different perspectives on the issue.

In conclusion there is need to preserve the sanctity of funerals and focus on unity and compassion during times of grief.

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