What you need to know:
- The prime actor in the book was one of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) leaders in Ankore who was killed in September 1972. Fenekansi Kanyonyore was suspected of having mobilised fighters and solicited funds for UPC and non-UPC members who were in exile in Tanzania.
- Kanyonyore was specifically accused of ferrying people across the border to Tanzania.
- His vehicle was sighted by one of the chiefs moving in that direction. This was at a time when vehicles were few and far between.
Stanley Mpamize’s book Legacy Memoirs of Kanyonyore and Mpamize: A Tale from Old Rwampara County, Ankore District is a remarkable book tinged with happiness, sadness, legacy, and heritage.
The prime actor in the book was one of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) leaders in Ankore who was killed in September 1972. Fenekansi Kanyonyore was suspected of having mobilised fighters and solicited funds for UPC and non-UPC members who were in exile in Tanzania.
Kanyonyore was specifically accused of ferrying people across the border to Tanzania.
His vehicle was sighted by one of the chiefs moving in that direction. This was at a time when vehicles were few and far between.
Owing to this, Kanyonyore was picked from his shop at Ndaija, Rwampara on September 21, 1972. He was 54 at the time, and would never be seen again alive.
His other colleagues killed at around the same time on the same accusations included: Nekemiah Bananuka and three of his sons; Eliphaz Laki; Blasio Ntundubire; Francis Tibayungwa; Rev Amos Rwabatabazi; Fredrick Mutembeya; Amos Biteinensha; William Kasisi; Rubashoka; Yuda Katundu; as well as Busesire and two of his brothers, among others.
As the title suggests, the book highlights Kanyonyore’s legacy. Although he did not receive formal education, Kanyonyore was able to read and write. He used the self-taught skills to become one of Ankore’s leading entrepreneurs.
A renowned trader, Kanyonyore opened Produce Stores in Ankore. He used to sell coffee, maize and castor oil. By 1954, he owned a vehicle—a Fudson Truck.
He was one of the few Africans to own a vehicle at that time.
At the time of his murder, he had a fleet of eight vehicles.
A cattle trader with a licence dating as far back as 1944, Kanyonyore used to purchase cattle from Kyabukuju and Rubaare. He would proceed to sell the cattle on foot in Masaka and Mukono. From these proceeds, he built one of the biggest houses in Nyakaguruka in Rwampara.
Kanyonyore later became a rancher. He co-owned Ranch No.30 with Kabeho, Kabwechere, Karakore, Laki and others under the Ankole-Masaka ranching scheme.
Not long after, he tucked his own ranch at Karama on the Kabale-Mbarara Highway under his belt. He also had in his possession various other farms.
Kanyonyore was an education administrator (Kinoni Junior Secondary School and Bujaga Boys School), a religious official (Head of Laity at Bujaga Church of Uganda and member of the Ankole-Kigezi Synod). He was also a founding member of a newspaper called Buseesire.
A national lottery agent, Kanyonyore also owned one of the biggest shops on the Mbarara-Ntungamo road. His business acumen was beyond measure for someone with such a humble background and limited education.
Politically, he used to host politicians in the area. He was an opinion leader everybody looked up to. A philanthropist, he paid the tuition of many needy learners.
Ironically, although Kanyonyore, his brother (James Ruchwaho) and his mother (Maliza Kabaate) were Protestant, his father (Aloysius Nyinantimbire) and his other wives were Catholic.
This as the book details contributed to the division of the family along political and religious lines.
The book also pays homage to Kanyonyore’s wife, Violet Gururongire. After his murder, she was faced with the unenviable task of fitting the big shoes left. She did this admirably before dying in 2011 aged 91.
The book is authored by Kanyonyore’s son—Stanley Mpamize—who is the executive director of Trinity Group of Schools. Like his father, Mpamize has an entrepreneurial streak coursing through his views. He doubles as a farmer and rancher.
Legacy Memoirs of Kanyonyore and Mpamize: A Tale from Old Rwampara County, Ankore District.
Most book stores.
Reviewed by Albert G. Mugumya