NTUNGAMO- The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, has expressed regret that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) did not cater for Maj Gen Zedekiah Maruru’s medical care which could have saved his life.
Gen Wamala told mourners at the late Maruru’s ancestral home in Rwamanyonyi, Kayonza Sub-county in Ntungamo District on Wednesday that the UPDF did not get information about his sickness in time.
“It’s quite unfortunate that when he got sick, we didn’t come to know until very late. We confess that as UPDF, we didn’t come to know although as his (former) ADC (Aide De Camp) I would annually be able to touch base with him but because of so many ups and downs, I was not able to. I confess I was not actually able to follow the last part of his life,” Gen Wamala said.
Gen Maruru has been described as an illustrious pilot in the Uganda air force. He trained as a pilot from Czechoslovakia after joining the army in 1964. He died of brain hemorrhage that resulted from high blood pressure last Saturday.
Gen Wamala who served as ADC of the deceased for more than 10 years said Gen Maruru was a calm officer who respected everybody; his bosses and juniors. He said his proper judgment of situations saved his life when he would have been killed during the worst moments of his duty as a soldier.
Gen Maruru’s brother, Mr Ham Tumuhairwe, told mourners earlier that Gen Maruru would have survived if he had got the treatment he needed but he could not because of financial challenges.
The State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana, said Gen Maruru came from a poor background and was patriotic, adding that he led a distinguished career in the army, which inspired many young people.
About Gen Maruru
Born on February 2, 1942, Gen Maruru joined the army in 1964 under Apollo Obote I government as a cadet and trained as an army pilot. He served as a top commander under president Idi Amin up to 1977 when he fled and formed his army-Operation Save Uganda that later joined UNLF.
He served as a commander of air forces under Obote II, Chief of Staff under Lule, Binaisa and Lutwa, and served in the UPDF before retiring in 1993. At his retirement, he was serving as the manager Uganda Air cargo, which according to his own narrative, was a company with one air craft. He died at the age of 72, serving as presidential adviser on air forces matters. Gen. Maruru is survived by a widow and five children. Several speakers described him as a committed soldier .