Hundreds of mourners braved a heavy afternoon downpour on Thursday to send off Brigadier Eriya Tukahirwa Kategaya, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs.
Kategaya, 67, who died last Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya, was buried at his ancestral home in Karagwe village, Itojo Sub County in Ntungamo district. He leaves behind two wives Diana and Joan and seven children.
Mourner after mourner described the Kategaya as having been a diligent incorruptible Government officer who worked tirelessly for the poor communities in Uganda.
Kategaya is remembered mostly by electorates in Rwampara County where he extended electricity, constructed schools, churches, roads and renovated Itojo Hospital while he represented the area in parliament. Kategaya represented Rwampara County from 1994 to 2001 before retiring.
Hannington Kamugisha, a resident of Rugando says Kategaya worked hard to change the lives of the people of Rwampara County by extending financial support to orphans and vulnerable people to get better health and education.
Savimbi Muhumuza, the councilor representing Itojo Sub County remembers the late Kategaya as a legislator who never worked for his own family but fought hard to see every citizen in Rwampara develop.
Muhumuza says Kategaya died a poor man but a rich one at heart because he never amassed wealth like many leaders in Government today are doing though stealing public resources.
Members of Parliament from the East African Legislative Assembly and ministers from the great lakes region attended the burial. EALA speaker Margret Zziwa described Kategaya as a man with unique vision that cherished democracy in the whole region.
Zziwa said the death of Kategaya has robbed Uganda of a good man, a father and mentor of all Africans despite of class and status.
President Yoweri Museveni described Kategaya as a man who has been fighting hard to wake Africans up from historical sleep of underdevelopment.
Museveni said most Africans have been in sleep for the last 20 years adding that the death of Kategaya should wake Africans and the people of Karagwe up.
He noted that Africa has lagged behind for decades because of sectarian politics adding that Kategaya’s visionary ideas helped him fight it.
The president said Kategaya died at a premature age and yet he was still needed most since he was a revolutionary leader for the whole of Africa.
Museveni said Kategaya was not just a cadre but a revolutionary who has been fighting hard to end indisciplined politics at all levels that had hindered development.
Museveni said Kategaya overworked himself for the development of Africans without discrimination. He said though they used to disagree with Kategaya on many occasions this did not stop them from getting back to a round-table and plan for the country.
Museveni promised to construct a memorial technical school in Itojo Sub County in memory of Kategaya’s efforts to attain democracy in Uganda and Africa.
The family members led by his wife Joan asked President Museveni to set up a hospital with a functioning Hydrotherapy in the country in memory of the long-serving politician.
Joan noted that if there was a well-equipped Hospital with Hydrotherapy machine in the country may be Kategaya and many more lives would not be lost.