Tuesday March 5 2013

Tooro kingdom loses a man for the people

Tooro kingdom loses a man for the people

The former Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister William Nyakatura addresses “Orukurato”, the Kingdom Parliament in 2010 and left, during a ceremony at the kingdom palace. He died at Mengo hospital at the age of 76. Photos by Felix Basiime. 

By Felix Basiime & Bridget Karungi

“He was a principled person and down to earth. He would even listen to the smallest child around.” This is how Mr John Kusemererwa, one of the sons of the late William Nyakatura described his father.

The former Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister died on Saturday at Mengo Hospital. According to Kusemererwa, Nyakatura was suffering from hypertension and diabetes and was supposed to undergo an operation next week at the same hospital.

Nyakatura, who was born in 1937 studied at Kabarole Primary School before he joined Nyakasura School for O and A level. He later joined Mbale School of Hygiene between 1957 and 1959 after which he did a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science at Indiana University in USA between 1965 to 1967.

He also worked with the Ministry of Health as a Public Inspector between 1960 to 1964 before he worked with Kampala City Council between 1964 to 1974 as the Chief Health Inspector.

Between 1974 to 1980, he worked as a Regional Manager at Kenatico Transport Company that covered mainly the Great Lakes region.

In 1980, he contested as flag bearer for Democratic Party as Member of Parliament for Bunyangabu County in Kabarole District where he floored two others and represented the area until 1985.

He was also the Director of Lake Victoria Bottling Company between 1987 to 1990.

In 1986, he joined the NRM government and President Museveni appointed him as a Deputy Minister for Animal Industry and Fisheries up to 1989.

He was also a member of the National Resistance Council (NRC) between 1986 and 1996.

Nyakatura was also the member of the Kabarole District service commission.

He quit politics and later, King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru appointed him as the Prime Minister of Tooro Kingdom in 2008.

At the time of his death, he was the head of the Abasumbi clan of Tooro and the Chairman of Kogere Foundation, an NGO in Kabarole District.

Mr John Baranga, one of the elders in Tooro and a deputy minister of culture for Tooro Kingdom described Nyakatura as a uniting factor.

“Although he was a member of the opposition party during the 1980s, he was a uniting factor in his area (Bunyangabu) and Tooro,” Baranga said, adding, “As an MP he really worked for the people of his constituency.”

“As a Prime Minister of Tooro Kingdom, he was very honest and promoted culture so much, that is why when King Oyo sacked him in 2010, some people tried so much to bring him back, the people of Tooro have missed a great man,” Baranga added.

Tooro Kingdom Information Minister, Fredrick Nyakabwa described Nyakatura as a hardworking man.

“He was so hardworking and a very principled man,” Nyakabwa said.

Rev Father Paschal Kabura, an elder in Tooro and a friend to Nyakatura described him as “a very humble man, very committed to his work, when he was an MP. He was not a greedy person like some other politicians.”

Nyakatura’s body was transported to Fort Portal yesterday and will be laid to rest today at his home in Rwengoma in Fort Portal town.

According to Kusemererwa, Nyakatura, 76, is survived by his wife, 10 children, 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.