He spent better parts of Saturday and Sunday - well outside formal working hours - at the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) offices at Lugogo.
Godfrey Nuwagaba, now painstakingly deceased at 53, wanted to complete some assignments from UOC president William Blick before boarding that Dubai-bound flight the following day.
“Maybe he was saying goodbye to us,” said Blick at a press conference jointly held with the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) yesterday at Lugogo, “That he spent Saturday and Sunday here working shows you how committed he was.”
Nuwagaba was treasurer for both sports associations at the time of his death. He fell unconscious aboard Fly Emirates flight EK730 that had departed Entebbe Monday 4:10pm but efforts to save his life in Addis Ababa, where the pilot had u-turned for emergency landing, were futile.
“He was a big pillar of UOC,” added Blick, flanked by UOC vice president Ambrose Tashobya and UAF boss Dominic Otucet among other athletics officials, “A special, selfless sports administrator.” Otucet had spoken to Nuwagaba via phone on Monday and the latter had not showed or complained of any illness. “Then we said good bye to each other,” said the UAF president.
“He has left a strong legacy. He was very committed and as athletics, it is a blow to us.”
UOC and UAF shared costs of treating and returning the body of the deceased, which touched down at Entebbe Airport with wife Winnie Arinaitwe early Wednesday morning.
The Ugandan embassy in Addis Ababa, according to Tashobya, helped expedite the process of returning the body. Blick said they had not received postmortem results from the deceased’s family by press time.
Nuwagaba has left behind a wife, four boys and two girls. His body was yesterday afternoon viewed by the public at UOC Lugogo, and Zzana Primary and Standard High Zzana High School, institutions he helped co-found.
There will be a funeral service this morning at All Saints Cathedral before the body is transported to Biharwe, Mbarara for a final send-off on Friday.