President proposes technical institute in memory of Kategaya, as country unites to send him off

Friday 8th March 2013

Thousands of people including regional leaders from the East African Community and leading political figures yesterday thronged Itojo, in Ntungamo district to pay their last respects to the late First Deputy Premier Hon. Eriya Kategaya who was finally laid to rest at his ancestral home in Karagwe.

President Yoweri Museveni who was the chief mourner paid glowing tribute to the late Eriya Kategaya describing him as a person with a strong, well balanced character who was well formed both as person and as a leader. Museveni said the late Kategaya was a revolutionary and urged other leaders to work hard, train and nature leaders who can take on from where he stopped. The President was speaking during the burial of the late Kategaya at his home in Karagwe village in Itojo sub-county in Ntungamo district, a ceremony that also attracted FDC former and current presidents Kiiza Besigye and Mugisha Muntu respectively, UPCs Olara Otuunu, Hon. Amanya Mushega who represented friends of the late, members of the EALA, members of the executive and legislature and thousands of mourners across the divide.

In his long eulogy to the late Kategaya the President said he grew up with the late Kategaya and they had their secondary and university education together. He said they were involved in revolutionary work from as early as 1965 and worked together until his death, adding that Kategaya’s revolutionary, nationalistic and pan-Africanist spirit guided most of what he did. Mr. Museveni said that Kategaya’s endless work for the unity of the East African community and total liberation of the African continent which he greatly cherished and longed for could have caused his death.

He appealled to leaders in Uganda and the whole of Africa not to waste time bickering but rather work for African unity noting that it is the only way to guarantee the future of the black race. He said the immediate challenge to the continent is under development and urged leaders against getting lost in diversionary politics that divides the people. Mr. Museveni described the death of Kategaya as a great loss not only to his family but also to Uganda, East Africa and the African continent because all his work at all times were selflessly devoted to the strengthening of the continent.

He said Kategaya never tried to enrich himself, adding that he died prematurely at a time the country needed his wise leadership. The President said that Kategaya was not corrupt in execution of his public duties and warned those who swindle government funds that the NRM government will weed them out the way they did to indisciplined armies and sectarian political leaders. He proposed the construction of technical institute in Ntungamo district to be named Kategaya Memorial technical institute in memory of his good works.

The First Lady and Minister of State for Karamoja who is also the area MP Hon. Janet Museveni thanked God for the life of the late Kategaya which she said he used to touch and help many people in Uganda and beyond. She commended him for the support he gave her when she joined politics in Ruhaama and described him as an indispensible pillar in Ruhaama who will be missed. Former FDC leader Kiiza Besigye described Kategaya as a selfless, principled, courageous and extremely intelligent person. Kategaya received an 11 gun salute by the UPDF.

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