"Kategaya died serving his country" - President Museveni

Wednesday 6th March 2013

President Yoweri Museveni has called for African unity and hailed the late First Deputy Premier Eriya Kategaya for his role towards the promotion of the East African Federation. The President was speaking as the lead mourner during a thanks giving memorial service at Kololo Independence Grounds in honour of Hon. Kategya who died in a Nairobi Hospital on March 02, 2013.

The President who was accompanied by his wife who is also Minister for Karamoja Affairs Hon. Janet Museveni told the mourners that the Federation of East Africa is needed for the good of our children. The President noted that Hon. Kategaya died of a blood clot in the course of serving his country. President Museveni said that dying from incidences such as a blood clot is part of the risk that the freedom fighters take, adding that Hon. Kategaya has died prematurely. He commended the widow, Mrs. Joan Kategaya for being a freedom fighter like them.

Mr. Museveni said that among the fundamental issues is for man to dominate nature and also look after our country and families. He was pleased to note that Eriya Kategaya excelled in the two aspects. He reminded the crowd of mourners that our mission on earth is to ensure that our world is well organized. President Museveni revealed that the deceased’s major contribution was to do clandestine work in Kampala. He said that among other achievements he linked the freedom fighters to the Acholi People. He said that he also linked them to the late Muamar Gaddafi who made a big contribution towards the struggle.

He said that he and the late Kategaya worked together to defeat sectarianism as far back as the 1960s. He described him as an active Pan Africanist and urged people to be more careful with their lives, exercise and to take all the necessary steps to prevent illness. The Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said he worked closely with Kategaya when they went to mobilize Ugandans in Zambia during the struggle and were together doing clandestine work in 1981.

He described him as a disciplined person in terms of time keeping and believed in service above self. The State Minister for East African Affairs Shem Bageine described the deceased as a man who supported democracy and the law, adding that the country has lost a great pillar of political leadership in Uganda. The East African Community Secretary General Richard Sezibera said that the deceased was an unshakable person of the East African Community. He said that the regional federation was his calling and hailed President Museveni for giving him the opportunity to serve the people. Sezibera described Hon. Kategaya as an inspiration to the East African Community.

The Minister for the Presidency, Frank Tumwebaze commended the Kenyan Government for expeditiously facilitating the transfer of the deceased’s body from Nairobi. The Vice Chairman of NRM Hajji Moses Kigongo revealed that he worked closely with him to mobilize the people. He said that he was honest, straight forward and very respectful. The Arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali said Uganda has lost a patriotic and hard working man. The retired Bishop of Ankole COU, Dr. George Tibesigwa in his sermon said that the President and Ugandans at large were fortunate to find a friend in Eriya Kategaya. He said described him as honest and prayed to God to comfort the people of Uganda.

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