Always jovial, Phillip Were Mangeni liked engaging in community events where he always extended his generosity. This will not be again as the 68-year-old was found dead in a hotel room last Sunday in Kira division, Wakiso District.
According to Wilberforce Lwagula, a family member, Mr Mangeni’s cause of death is yet to be established, although his body was taken to Mulago hospital for further examination.
Kira Police boss Peter Nkulega said police is carrying out investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding his death after the deceased’s body was found in the room, lifeless.
Talking about the deceased, Lwagula described him as a very industrious and God-fearing person. “Busia has lost one of its most brilliant accountants ever,” Lwagula said, adding that burial is today (Saturday) at Nahayaka in Busia.
Mangeni is survived by two wives and 17 children. One of the widows, Grace Mangeni said the late came back from a procurement association meeting in Mbarara with food and informed her that he was out for a brief meeting. “I never saw my dear husband until today when the body was brought back home,” she said on Thursday.
The late Mangeni, is remembered in Samia Bugwe for being a soccer fan and promoter. Samia community has annual football tournaments every Christmas where the Basamia from Uganda and Kenya participate. Mangeni never missed these events even when he was sick. He would occasional sponsor a team through, for instance, hiring players from Kampala, a sign of love for the game.
Mangeni worked as an accountant with the Ministry of Finance, Treasury Department between 1973 - 1976 and Ministry of Tourism for two years (1976–1978). He later joined the disbanded Ministry of Cooperatives and Marketing, as a senior accountant for 13 years (1979–1991) bouncing back to the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development as a Principal Accountant for four years (1991–1995). He switched to the Ministry of Energy and Water as Assistant Commissioner Accounts from 1995–1999.
He went back as Commissioner Treasury Inspectorate for seven years. Mangeni was promoted to the position of Commissioner, Technical and Advisory Services in the same ministry from 2006–2008 until he retired.
He has served as board member of Uganda Meteorological Authority, Member of Busitema University Council, National Resistance Movement flag bearer in the 2011 election for Busia District chairperson. He lost marginally to the Ouma Adea. He was preparing to run again and was seen as a favourite this time round.
Mangeni also served as deputy chairman Finance and Development Committee, Tororo Archdiocese.
He has also been a member of the Internal Audit Committee Justice, Law and Order Sector, Internal Audit Committee, Education Sector and also board member of St Peters Nsambya SS and Makerere College School. Mangeni has served as the patron of Bananda Sports Association and also Basamia Bagwe Students Association.
Mangeni’s family spokesperson, Dr George Nasinyama, urged the police to investigate the death of Mangeni. “We need to know what killed him. He had just come out of a procurement meeting. We suspect something fishy could have happened. As a family, we have ignored all speculations in the media until we get a report from police.”
Who was Mangeni?
The late Mangeni, commonly known as “Jakadan” (Dan’ son) was born to the late Daniel Wanjala Okaka and Haleta Hahubi Namawa in Sisumo, Nahayaka Village, Buhehe Sub-County, Busia District.
He solemnised his marriage to Grace Mangeni in 1991. He later married three other women through civil marriage: Maria Florence Akello Mangeni (RIP), Joy Kabajumba Mangeni, and Angella Mangeni (RIP).
In 1963, Mangeni sat for Junior Leaving Examination and obtained grade ‘A’ at Nagongera Secondary School. In 1967, he obtained the Cambridge School Certificate from Tororo College.
Later in 1969, he attained a Higher School Certificate. Mangeni joined Makerere University and in 1973, he got a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com, Hons).
Mangeni still yearned for education. In 1983, he joined Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) for a certificate in Advanced Financial Accounting (Glasgow UK) and another certificate in Public Sector Accounting and Auditing from Certified Institute of Professional Financial Accountants (CIPFA).
In 1990, Mangeni still pursued an advanced diploma in Government Accounting and Management from ESAMI and crowned his studies with a Master in Business Administration in 2002.