Ugandan urges weekday burial ban


Speciosa Kazibwe suggested using fridges to preserve corpses (external - login to view)


A Ugandan official has suggested to MPs that funerals should be limited to Saturday afternoons to stop people taking time off work to attend them.

Speciosa Kazibwe, a former vice-president who now heads a state development agency, noted that Uganda's death rate was very high.

Uganda has been hard hit by HIV/Aids, which caused 91,000 deaths in 2005.

Ms Kazibwe said each constituency should have a mortuary with a fridge that could preserve corpses.

She made the comments in a meeting with MPs on economic development.

"I get surprised whenever I hear of a politician who abandons office and attends a funeral," the New Vision newspaper quoted her as saying.

Burials were taking up lots of time as well as productive vehicles, she said.


One MP who heard the proposal, John Emile Otekat, told the BBC that he backed it.

Ms Kazibwe's plan would "save a lot of time wasted and it would also make families really prepare for burial, instead of just burying a person just like that."

"Most of us spend [more of] our time doing burials than any other thing, especially because of HIV/Aids and malaria which is very prevalent in Uganda."

He said this was a particular problem for politicians.

"Most of the members of parliament, even district councillors, they spend a lot of their time in burials instead of doing their work because as a politician you must be seen to be with your people during times of difficulty."

People were buried more quickly in Uganda than in neighbouring Kenya, he said.

Even so, he said the government would have to make sure there were more mortuaries before such an idea could ever be implemented.
He also noted there could be a conflict with the Muslim custom of burying people within a day of their death.

Wow... a funeral is a waste of time apparently... forget about paying respects to your lost loved ones.... they can wait in a cooler for a few days to suit those who want to get more bang for their buck.

Deaths are an issue in the country because of HIV/AIDS? Well holy snapping crap! How about you address that problem, rather then just accepting it as part of reality and shifting people's ways of paying respect to suit your own selfish needs?

And only holding funerals on Saturdays? I can only imagine how much of a nightmare that would be when you have that many people dying in one week and then having everybody all at once attending all the funerals all in one day. I sure as hell glad I'm not a funeral director over there.
Oh, I'd be thrilled to not be able to bury my family member for a week because it would screw with some politician's work schedule. Oh heck yeah... thrilled.

How about instead, you bury people as the family sees fit, and the politicians have a Saturday afternoon collective memorial service for their photo ops and hand shaking? Morons.
Uganda has actually adressed HIV AIDS much more than most African nations. Their programs promoting monogamy have actually had a very strong impact. They don't deserve scorn for their reaction to HIV. The reality is though, many people were infected before they got their new infection rates down.
Here is one link about Uganda's HIV prevention efforts. They are generally seen as the model all African nations should follow. (external - login to view)

Uganda is often cited as a rare example of success in a continent facing a severe AIDS crisis. The country is seen as having implemented a well-timed and successful AIDS prevention (external - login to view) campaign, which has been credited with helping to bring adult HIV prevalence down from around 15% in the early 1990s to around 5% in 200124.
Praise for Uganda’s prevention efforts has waned in recent years, with particular criticism levelled at US-backed abstinence campaigns. There are indications that Uganda’s HIV prevalence may once again be on the rise25.
The approach used in Uganda has been named the ABC approach - firstly, encouraging sexual Abstinence until marriage; secondly, advising those who are sexually active to Be faithful to one partner; and finally, urging Condom use, especially for those who have more than one sexual partner

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