Fare thee well Mzee Kaguta
Posted Sunday, February 24 2013 at 02:00
The country woke up to the sad news of the demise of Mzee Amos Kaguta, 96, father of President Museveni. Death is an enemy to human kind and it’s painful regardless of age or cause. It’s a robber and brings only anguish.
But dwell we not on anguish. We need to celebrate the life of this patriarch. He begot us a President.
And regardless of our differences with Mr Museveni and his style of state management, we need to acknowledge that he has etched himself significantly into the history of Uganda. Credit is given to him for the restoration of national security. Among other achievements, the discipline in the army was a carefully thought out mission which Mr Museveni committed himself to achieve.
These achievements wouldn’t have been possible without Mzee Kaguta whom our President credits for struggling to bring up a family in a rural and cattle-keeping community. Mzee Kaguta’s vision to access Western education to his children while keeping them rooted to their cultural values was no mean achievement. To Mzee Kaguta, it was important for children to understand who they are by knowing their folklore. Some of his other children and grandchildren are also serving in different capacities. Pride in who we are is a message he leaves us today given the increasing pressure visited upon our country by competing global cultures.
We must also appreciate that even when his son became President, Mzee Kaguta managed to detach himself from the pomp that comes with the presidency and kept himself simple. There is no public record of any altercation between him and his community or the general public.
Not many fathers would have avoided the temptation to misuse state power. Even when his cows once strayed into someone’s garden and ate the crops, he was humble to attend an LC court to settle the dispute in spite of the fact that his son was President.
Regrettably, Mzee Kaguta has passed on without us extracting enough knowledge from him just like we do with many elders.
It would have been a hilarious read of a first person narrative from Mzee Kaguta on how they managed to keep large herds of cattle without western knowledge of disease control.
And he might have merited to seat on the national council of elders if we cared to value the role of old heads. Fare thee well Mzee Kaguta.