Music promoter Balaam Barugahara has had to fight many battles with musicians, fans and musicians’ families but we can bet he never ever thought he would have to come under fire for killing a snake.
But it has happened.
Over the weekend, Balaam’s employees killed a python that they found in his farm in Masindi. It is not yet clear how it happened, but a picture of Balaam’s farm men posing with the dead python leaked onto social media. This infuriated Abbey Rafsanjan, a former scribe and US based environmentalist who went on a long Facebook rant that spanned for hours.
“This is appalling, disgusting, repulsive and downright dumb. For someone like Mr Balaam Barugahara who has gone to school, travelled and been blessed with so much exposure to condone and even celebrate this kind of act is sheer disturbing, to say the least. Now imagine someone who is not as exposed. You guys have never heard of UWEC of Mr James Musinguzi or UWA of Mr Stephen Masaba, right? People continue to kill wildlife and the authorities still do nothing. If you thought Uganda was the worst place to live as a human being [yes, I’ve said that and you can eat your heart out], be glad you’re not an animal. In this country, animals have no right to anything. 90% or more of Ugandans consider wildlife as food or pest. But one day your grand grandchildren will curse your actions when they find out that the animals they’ll only be left to see in statues and pics in books once roamed this land freely but your dumbasses couldn’t give them a chance to thrive,” Rafsanjan wrote on social media.
Balaam later responded to Rafsanjan and asked what was more important? Human life or a snake’s life?
“I didnt know u are hurt less (heartless). A reptile threatening life and trying to kill human beings and consuming animals to be left go. So will u celebrate death of farmers? And peasants by a ruthless python???? So disturbing I know what it means and feels to keep a dangerous animal wandering in a residential and peasant zone in Masindi municipality. Wait till u find it In your house or parents’ home u will report to UWEC . For now assure me that u have never killed a snake in life?”
Balaam’s friends and other social media followers came to his defense saying that snakes are dangerous and therefore can’t co-exist with human beings like Rafsanjan wanted them to.
Flavia Milly Lanyero: “I need some education; “the python had encircled on of the farmers”. So the python should have been left to eat the farmer?? Am confused.”
Namara Catherine Masiko: “Oh how the mighty have fallen!! Men are killing each other over a python, mbu animal rights, my foot. In my world I have dominion over the animals on the land creepers, fowl of the air and fish of the sea. Animal rights! Crap! Crap!”
Levin S Sentongo: “Am I assured that if I spot a Python in my garden or house n I call UWA guys they will reach in 5mins wherever I myt be staying? What guarantee do I have that the python will also be there waiting for the wildlife guys to come capture it? Will I be giving lunch or massaging it during that time as we wait for the wildlife guys?”
Nabimanya Ronald: “Oh please that is one of the most dangerous animals. so far it has killed so many animals and as if that was not enough it has turned a human being as the next prey. If one of the those targeted farmers was a person u know, you could have a different view about it. it was proactive of those locals to eliminate it before it turns ugly to them and their children. Even of recent similar incident happened in Sanga, but this time it was a lion, those UWA friends of yours didn’t allow it to hurt people. it was killed by them.”
After being bashed by his followers, an angry Rafsanjan posted, “NEXT YEAR, BALAAM CAN HOLD A CONCERT IN BWINDI. THE GORILLAS CAN FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE TO GO. #HumansFirst Hallelujah?”
This was before he wrote: “BREAKING: Uganda has learnt that snakes like pythons are behind the ongoing kidnappings and killings in the country. Now they’ll try to extinguish them. Good luck.”
Nevertheless James Musinguzi, the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center (UWEC), Executive Director asked people to stop killing wildlife.
“Please don’t kill wildlife. Our Tourism sector largely depends on it and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as well as Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) are available to rescue any wild animal anywhere. Call UWEC for immediate rescue on 0706505722 and 0783700361. This python would have been a big attraction and Education tool!!”
So we bring the question back to you:
Was it wrong for Balaam’s farm men to kill the Python?