Thousands see off Mzee Amos Kaguta
Posted Monday, February 25 2013 at 02:00
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete among thousands of dignitaries who descended on Rwakitura village in Kiruhura District to bury President Museveni’s father.
Thousands of mourners, including Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete, joined President Museveni and his family yesterday to bid farewell to the President’s father, Mzee Amos Kaguta, who passed away on Friday.
Mr Kikwete was the only head of state present, flying into the country from official duty in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia although fellow leaders, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Salva Kiir of South Sudan sent condolence messages.
On an afternoon of sweltering heat, the clouds turned grey to let out a slight drizzle and a somber mood filled the air at President Museveni’s ancestral home in Rwakituura, Kiruhura District as mourners paid homage to a man described as a patriot and an altruist.
At 1pm, Mzee Kaguta’s body was wheeled out of the President’s family house by pallbearers and ushered into the main courtyard where mourners who trickled in from in and out of the country in their hundreds sat under five large marquees.
Mr Museveni in tow with First Lady Janet Museveni, sister Violet Kajubiri and brother Gen. Salim Saleh and other members of the First Family, led by the clergy, marched in with the dark brown casket containing the body of Mzee Kaguta.
Mzee Kaguta, 96, died on Friday morning at the International Hospital Kampala, after a long battle with what family admitted were a number of ailments associated with old age. Family members and friends eulogized Mzee Kaguta as a hard working and nonconformist man, who defied the odds to live a simple life despite all the clout and privilege that may have come as a result of fathering a President.
Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kagada said in siring President Museveni, Mzee Kaguta had left an enduring legacy. “As President, we look to you as the father of this nation so in Mzee Amos, the nation has lost a grandfather,” said Ms Kadaga in her condolence message. “He has left a legacy of producing a son who has tremendously transformed this country.”
Several others who took to the podium spoke in awe of Mzee Kaguta. of a life well lived, telling of how he was a source of inspiration, while many spared a moment to thank Mr Museveni for honouring his father.
Ms Kajubiri said her father was a great man who led an ordinary family that was called by God to serve the country.