I no longer trust friends – Amama Mbabazi 

Tuesday September 29 2020

Former PM Amama Mbabazi speaking to South Ankole Diocese Bishop Rt Rev Nathan Ahimbisibwe during the memorial service. PHOTOS PEREZ RUMANZI

By Perez Rumanzi

Former Prime Minister and presidential aspirant, Mr Amama Mbabazi, has expressed his regrets over many people he thought were his friends. 
Speaking on Monday during the burial of his nephew James Katono at Katinda village, Rweikiniro Sub County in Ntungamo District, Mr Mbabazi said he has amassed experience with friends both in Uganda and internationally. He said most of the friends were only there during the good times.
“In life, there are people we call friends but have names of katesigwa (mistrust), they are friendly on the face but time comes when they cannot be trusted. I have that experience,” said the former Kinkizi West legislator. 
“I’ve had many friends in this world but my friends have categories. There are people we call fair-weather friends. Those are friends who are with you when times are good but when it threatens to rain, you look behind and you will never see them. I know them; they are many and I have them. I think I have made some research,” he added.
Mr Mbabazi had spent some time without appearing or speaking at public functions despite being seen at some state events.


Former prime Minister Amama Mbaabzi and wife lay a wreath on the casket of the late James Katono at Katinda Ntungamo District on Monday.

He, however, said he was disappointed with the response of citizens towards the fight against the novel Coronavirus. He said Ugandans are downplaying the contagion by disregarding guidelines issued by health experts and the government.
Mr Mbabazi went on to eulogise the deceased as a physical and mental mentor for both him and current Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda. 
At the age of 24, MKatono was captured by the government to be taken to fight in 1939- World War II. He was rescued by Kigezi chiefs who then put him back into school. 
He started school at Kinyasano Primary School where he became one of the best footballers at the time. He was later offered a scholarship at Kigezi High School for his secondary education.
Upon completion of high school, he went to play football in Nairobi with the ambition to also study Posts and communications at University of Nairobi before going to Cambridge where he completed his education.
His return to Uganda would see him become head of Uganda Posts and Communications.  In 1957, he was appointed as the first black manager of Barclays Bank Uganda.
His youngest son, Mr Rogers Katono described his late father as a teacher of life and a mentor of work who taught them patience, hard work, and love. 
Ms Susan Katono said even at his old age, they did not think he would die soon as he was still strong in body and faith.
He shared his last moments on Saturday night with his friends and family, talking and drinking wine around a fireplace in his compound. He died the next morning (Sunday).
He is said to have felt nausea before fainting. He was pronounced dead at Itojo Hospital even after he had regained full consciousness, about three hours after the fainting.  
Katono is survived by seven children, several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren