Kabale – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has described the fallen icon of the Runyankole-Rukiga local language author and translator Omugurusi Festo Karwemera as an icon that has transformed Kigezi region and the country as a whole in inculcating African culture, norms, and morals values into all Ugandans.
President Museveni, who co-authored the Runyankole-Rukiga dictionary termed as Katondozi said that Karwemera will keep in the minds of Kigezi and Ugandan people as a gallant person of Uganda who promoted the Runyankole Rukiga language.
“Karwemera’s willingness to write many Runyankole-Rukiga books is a gesture of preservation of the heritage of the African culture which people should take up seriously to maintain the legacy and passion of Omugurusi Festo Karwemera,” message from President Museveni read.
President Museveni commended Karwemera for serving his nation selflessly and for exhibiting a great degree trustworthy.
This was in his message that was read by the State Minister of Planning David Bahati during the requiem service that was held at Kigezi High School Primary grounds in Kabale Municipality.
Mourner after mourner described Festo Karwemera as an educationalist , environmentalist ,
Dr Ruhakana Rugunda the Prime Minister said that Kigezi,Uganda and Africa has lost a legend, Omugurusi Festo Karwemera.
“He lived an exemplary life as a teacher, public servant, researcher, author and custodian of our rich cultural heritage saying that his life and contribution and thank God for giving him a long and impactful life,” Premier Dr. Rugunda eulogised the deceased.
Aida Mary Karwemera, the widow, in eulogy said that Karwemera as a loving husband that worked hard to see his children get educated
Robina Tugume Nyangoma, his eldest daughter revealed that his father – till his death – had attempted to seek his pension and gratuity in vain since his voluntary retirement in 1966.
“My father had petitioned the government to include his books on the syllabus but it is unfortunate that books of authors from other areas were being used and his left to collect dust,” Nyangoma said.
Tugume also said that Karwemera at the time of his Denise he was translating the uganda constitution into runyakole rukiga as he had translated three quarters of it.
Prof Constance Kwesiga the Vice-Chancellor of Kabale University pledged that the university’s department of languages will arrange and ensure that all books that Karwemera had written be put in the university’s library to help learners access them very quickly.
She added that the University will also ensure that Karwemera’s museum is maintained and preserved in order to fulfil Karwemera’s passion for promoting language and culture.
Preaching during the service, the Bishop of Diocese of Kigezi George Bagamuhunda called on mourners to endeavor to promote their legacy that fulfills the God’s will while still living.
Bagamuhunda also said that Christians need to instil in themselves a spirit of desisting from evil like murder that may distance mankind from God.
Karwemera is survived by a widow Aidah Mary Karwemera, 7 children, 19 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.
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He has been laid to rest at his ancestral home in Bugarama parish, Buhara Sub-county of Kabale district.