The family of the late Sam Mwagalwa, a founding member of the defunct Uganda Patriotic Movement and father of NRM rebel MP Theodore Ssekikubo rejected 20 million shillings contributed by President Yoweri Museveni towards his funeral arrangements.
Mwagalwa died on Friday last week and was laid to rest at his ancestral home at Kangavve village in Makulubita Sub County in Luweero district on Wednesday.
Several mourners described the deceased as a nationalist, sportsman, freedom fighter, anti corruption crusader and strong NRM loyalist. However,Mwagalwa’s family couldn’t hide their anger towards President Yoweri Museveni for failing to show up at his funeral despite his role in the NRA liberation struggle. Mwagalwa is said to have helped treat and hide NRA rebels including President Yoweri Museveni during the National Resistance Army War of 1981-1986.
According to his family, shortly after the death of their father, Vincent Nyanzi, the State minister in the office of the vice President and Brigadier Proscovia Nalweyiso approached them with 20 million shillings allegedly from President Museveni to help them with the funeral arrangements, but they rejected it. Christopher Ddamulira, the elder son of Mwagalwa and his brother Theodore Ssekikubo told the media that they unanimously rejected the money saying it was mockery and disrespect to their late father.
Ssekikubo says President Museveni was duty bound to take over the entire funeral arrangements and attend in person and not send officials to represent him. He also blasted Museveni for failing to honor his father with a medal despite his selfless contribution in the NRA bush war and NRM Campaigns.
Speaker by Speaker especially MPs bashed President Museveni for skipping the burial of the late Mwagalwa and described him as unappreciative. Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality said that he was surprised that Mwagalwa, a historical from UPM could be forgotten by Museveni who chose to skip his burial because of their Political differences with Ssekikubo.
Muhammad Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP described Mwagalwa as a loving father and freedom fighter adding that, they are happy that Ssekikubo has carried on his legacy. John Chrysostom Muyingo, the state minister for higher education who represented President Museveni apologized for his absence saying he was caught up by official duties.
In a written statement read by the minister Museveni described Mwagalwa as a patriot. In his remarks Muyingo also blasted fellow MPs whom he accused of disrespecting higher authorities which was against Mwagalwa’s principle and called for reconciliation.
Muyingo offered 10 million shillings as condolences to the family, prompting Godfrey Kiwanda, the Mityana North MP to plead with Ssekikubo to accept it.
Ssekikubo later said that he accepted the money because it was not in Buganda norms to publicly reject condolences but they couldn’t receive the 20 million shillings from the president for burial arrangement because it was also brought late.
Mwagalwa left 36 children, 153 grand children and five wives. Mwagalwa was born in 1905 at Kangavve village in Luweero but moved to Ssembabule in1948 where he took an active part in politics and served in different capacities. In 2009, he was honored by Kabaka Ronald Mutebi as one of the kingdom’s heroes for hiding and protecting Kabaka Edward Muteesa against government forces.