It’s seven years gone but the Noble mayombo legacy of humor, love, inclusiveness and intellectual prowess continues to live fresh in many minds of those he so dearly touched and inspired.
I will forever feel touched by the work of his early wise counsel and great knowledge that he imparted on to us during the late 90s as he reached out to us in our universities. It was always a great moment of excitement to receive Noble Mayombo in the university lecture theatre at mbarara university in the late evenings after our dinner as he would be on his way to the rwenzoris to track and attack ADF.
Though time bad and Ready for combat operations against insurgents, he would never afford to let us down as we waited for him so eagerly at the university campus. He would always be in a rush and would always insist in his humorous joking way that he would only be with us for only 30 mins or else he would be taken to the court martial for desertion.
It was always a moment of fun and learning with him. He would speak to us eloquently and with precision of each and very statement he made. His quick reference to provisions of the constitution and other laws as he memorized them correctly off his head without opening any page of a book or document was amazing.
The lecture theatre would be dead silent all through his talk and students would spontaneously stand up in applause after his speech giving him a standing ovation. I must painfully say; that we miss you dearly comrade Noble and we shall continue to search for knowledge and wisdom in memory of your legacy.
In defense of your thoughts, we shall continue to preach the NRM anti sectarian and pan African ideology that you so passionately spoke about time and again to us.
Noble never accepted to be defined by trivialities of tribe, religion and cheap scheming.. He despised all these and stood above all those that funned them. He supported and listened to all that approached him without probing where they came from. He taught us how to look at society broadly without being comprised by either blood or clan relations. That was a powerful ideological foundation that he built for us as a country.
He enabled quite a number of my contemporaries at university then to understand the NRM’s definitive ideology and consequently mentored us to become active NRM cadres.
Many of us owe our political journeys to him. He stood for knowledge, logic and intellectual engagement; tenets that are so rare now in our elite society. He despised reactionaries and discouraged hate speech. He never at any one time vowed to revenge against opponents even when he had the means to do so as i see and hear some of our aspiring leaders promising to do with much vengeance.
To the contrary Noble preached dialogue and discussion based on honest principles and not on cheap compromises. No wonder he embraced every body and called him/her a comrade no matter whether that person formed opposition to his opinions or not. I for example remember the honest testimony the former leader of opposition gave in parliament as we paid tribute to Noble. Hon Ogenga latigo spoke of how he had been meeting Noble at his house many times dialogue on a number of issues of national interest.
Noble in his simplicity exuded confidence and deep understanding of societal issues. He cared to know what is affecting society in all spheres even when that seemed to be out of his realm as a military cadre. He confronted every situation however problematic it seemed with solutions and alternative approaches without any form of disorientation.He had clarity of the mind and was never ambiguous both in his speech and actions.
He never engaged in blame gaming and escapism, character assassination of others and intrigue; dirty vices and tendencies, i see Some of our leaders engaged in. Neither did he ever spend any minute scheming for self advantage against other comrades. He never allowed at any one time emotion or any sentiments to influence his world view and judgment.He was a perfect and brilliant gentleman that truly lived a life of a patriot.
He allowed proper revolutionary methods to guide and define his work ethic and style. Noble wherever you rest; just know that we still struggle to fill that Gap you left. Every other day there is reason and cause to say ” how we wish Noble was here”.
To all those of you who knew Noble and liked his views; this is my message to you as we celebrate the seventh year of his passing on; Can we raise up and work to build a brand of political leadership that truly reflects those values he stood for? Can we treasure knowledge and always search for it before we speak?
Can we hate and despise political posturing that only trades in foam as opposed to substance? Can we as the political elite stop exploiting the citizenry by inciting them on wrong ideologies of tribe and religious sectarianism for our own selfish agendas? Can we start trading in politics of substance, politics of the answer not the anger?
Can we hate wrong even when its massively popular and stick to what is right? Can we give credit where its due and offer criticism that is constructive and that seeks to offer an alternative as opposed to Lamentations and being merchants of hopelessness even when God is blessing our country abundantly?
Can we speak against tendencies that work against our motherland country and stand up for national interest? Can we fight corruption genuinely without using it as a political tool in our contestations and thus only trade in rhetoric? Can we stop despising our own country with its God given endowments and further stop the immoral tendency to prefer what is foreign? Can we as leaders of different political parties stand up to account on what our thinking is,in response to the various social challenges affecting our people? Why should for example any leader be silent on telling his supporters about HIV and its attendant problems?
The tendency by political leaders to shy away from providing guidance to those that follow them on critical social and economic issues that determine their livelihoods and only concentrate on rehearsing their grievances in the media for visibility against their political opponents is not only being selfish but clearly shows lack of ability of leadership. Can we debate issues and not quarrel ? Can we allow logic, reason and not emotion to guide the way we conduct business as leaders? Can we as leaders stand up for the truth and not form opinions based on the game of the gallery and populist waves?
The late Noble despised all these. He believed in real substance and no wonder he promoted and supported many young people with good leadership talents. My counsel to the Rabwoni family is that while you miss and inevitably cry for Noble’s loss just feel contented that he died a patriot and that during his short life; he managed to touch and inspire many and many either directly or indirectly and the generations of these will never forget his works.
A person can die like Noble did and many will forget about him/her as time goes by, but his ideas will forever live. Bad and wrong personalities like Hitler will Always be remembered for their genocidal ideologies while Good and great ones like church hill, Nkrumah and Nyerere will too be remembered much more prominently for their pro-humanity legacies.
That will always be Noble Mayombo for us. Continue to rest in peace Apuli and may the Almighty continue to bless your family and children.
Written By Frank Tumwebaze, MP
He is the Minister in charge of the Presidency and Kampala Capital City, Government of Uganda.