Uganda’s second deputy Prime Minister, Kirunda Kivejinja has died.
While addressing a political rally in Hoima, Saturday, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hinted that Kivejinja had died from Covid-19, affirming what the deceased's son had told the Daily Monitor.
"It's true he is dead. He passed away at Mulago National referral Hospital," his son Faruk Kirunda said earlier.
He had tested positive for covid-19 although he had underlying diseases like diabetes.
His relatives said he was rushed to hospital when his health conditions deteriorated due to malaria.
"It's true he's passed away at Mulago hospital and that is where his body is still lying as I speak now. Since he's a politician and big public figure, we as the family are waiting on government as we can't guarantee that the body will be in our hands," family member, Mr Ismail Nunguli said
He added that for that reason, much as he will be buried in Buwabe Village, Ibulanku Sub-county in Bugweri district, no date has been set for his burial.
Using social media, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said: "We have learnt with deep sadness the passing of our elder, friend and comrade, 2nd Deputy PM Alhajji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja."
"His passing is a huge loss to the country, of a great Pan Africanist & repository of our history and journey of social, political and Economic transformation," the premier eulogised.
Before being appointed as Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs in June 2016, Kivejinja previously served as the Minister for Relief and Social Rehabilitation, Internal Affairs and as Deputy Prime Minister.
Kivejinja studied at the Kibuli Junior School and Busoga College Mwiri and then took a pre-university course at Madras Christian College before obtaining a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Zoology at Delhi University on a Government of India scholarship.
While in India he was treasurer of the African Students Association which had among its members Bingu wa Mutharika, John Malecela and John Mataure.
Kivejinja returned to Uganda in 1962. During the 1960s he served a political mobilizer for the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), the ruling political party at that time. Since the overthrow of the second Milton Obote regime in 1986, Kivejinja served in several positions in the government led by President Museveni.
In 1986, he was appointed Minister of Relief and Social Rehabilitation. He has since served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Third Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda. Since August 2012 he had been Senior Presidential Advisor for Internal Affairs to President Museveni.
On June 6, 2016, he was named as the new Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs in the new Cabinet announced that day.
The spokesperson at the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Julius Mucunguzi told the Daily Monitor that the "Prime Minister's office would issue a detailed statement on the matters concerning Kirunda's death."