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Last week, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, author of House of Bones, lodged a formal complaint with the Writivism Board of Trustees, in which she accused Mr. Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire of making slanderous comments against her person. Here is her official statement on the complaint.

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On Tuesday June 12, I lodged a formal complaint with the Writivism Board of Trustees against Mr Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire’s continued and relentless public slander against my person using my work with Writivism and CACE in 2012–2013. This has been going on unchecked. CACE recently made a public announcement with regards to this very issue which I raised on twitter. CACE’s public announcement on twitter acknowledges my having worked with them and Writivism, as well as my having left in 2013. CACE, furthermore, claims that they have since undertaken capacity building to ensure every single individual who works with them is protected. They have furthermore publicly condemned the erasure of the work of any individual who has worked with them. In spite of this, Mr Bwa Mwesigire continues to publicly slander my person with regards to my time and work with Writivism. As I wrote to the Writivism Board, if Mr Bwa Mwesigire has any valid complaints or accusations with regards to my work and time with Writivism, he ought to bring it through the proper channels that CACE claims it has put in place as an organisation. I do not appreciate his continued public slander which has since gone unchecked by CACE or Writivism, and do not wish to regret having been associated with these programs due to this continued public slight of my person in the name of Writivism by one of its co-founders. This is not the first time I have lodged a formal complaint with CACE against Mr Bwesigye for his public slander. I lodged my first formal complaint in 2013 to the co-founders when I left CACE.

My excellent and impeccable work with CACE and Writivism was acknowledged upon my departure in writing by CACE’s co-founders, who expressed sadness at my leaving as well as acknowledged my love and passion for the work I did with CACE and Writivism. This excellent work was also acknowledged in writing in 2014 by Mr Bwa Mwesigire himself. And yet, this public slander persists unchecked. I left Writivism after an ugly and personal fall out with Mr Bwa Mwesigire. Mr Bwa Mwesigire continues to harbour personal animosity and to use this personal animosity slander my person and to use the legitimate work I did with CACE and Writivism to do give an aura of legitimacy to this abuse. This is petty, malicious and nasty, and in bad taste.

The Writivism Board of Trustees asked Mr Bwa Mwesigire to take down the public slander. Furthermore, I received a formal apology from the Writivism Director as well as an assurance that this would not happen again. Mr Bwa Mwesigire did not do adhere to the Board’s request to take down his slander. Writivism furthermore assured me that they would put out a statement clearing the air. I am disappointed that Writivism’s public statement does not reflect, and in fact counters, what Writivism assured me of in writing as well as the email apology I received. I have had to make my own public statement putting this matter to rest.  It was only after my public statement calling this out and holding Writivism accountable to their professed organisational principles today (Saturday June 16) that this slander and abuse were finally taken down by Mr Bwa Mwesigire. I would like this on record.

Thank you.Novuyo Rosa Tshuma,
Saturday, June 16, 2018.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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