What you need to know:
- Treasured as UPDF No. RO 00040 in the UPDF, Kashilingi was laid to rest at his ancestral home Nyamigongo village, northern ward Kabisoni town council on Friday afternoon in a humble Muslim ceremony burial that was concluded with a 21-gun salute conducted using AK 47 assault rifles.
Lt Col (rtd) Ahmed Kashillingi, a former Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) commander treasured for his courage and strength that led to the final assault on Kabamba and crossing of Katonga river during the 1986 bush war and final military takeover of the government by National Resistance Army/Movement has been laid to rest.
Treasured as UPDF No. RO 00040 in the UPDF, Kashilingi was laid to rest at his ancestral home Nyamigongo village, northern ward Kabisoni town council on Friday afternoon in a humble Muslim ceremony burial that was concluded with a 21-gun salute conducted using AK 47 assault rifles.
He died on Wednesday evening at Rubaga Hospital in Kampala after a short illness resulting from increased sugar levels due to diabetes effect, his family said.
Several speakers described him as a daring commander, soldier by all description and a patient hero whose incorruptible repute at times landed him in trouble with higher powers.
Speaking on behalf of friends, Rtd Maj Gen Steven Kashaka said Kashillingi’s patience was unmatched while his patriotism and love for the army was second to none.
“He had very big experience and was a very patient man. While still in the bush, he told me that we should not go into government to enrich ourselves, this he worked for it for long, a reason I find his house unfinished like mine. In working with government for the people, you never get rewarded well,” Maj Gen Kashaka said.
In his military career, Lt Col Kashilingi was one of the most unfortunate of his time suffering prison many times in governments of former presidents Idi Amin government, Milton Obote II and later the government he fought to bring to power tirelessly, the NRM.
His daughter Zubeda Kashilingi who spoke on behalf of the children said her father lived a challenging life as a man.
“He was a soldier, and nothing else he has lived a rather difficult time like all men going through difficult things, some recover, some do not, he did not recover. I think that is why we are here.” Ms Zubeda said.
In a letter read for him at the burial, the chief of defense forces eulogized Kashilingi as a resilient soldier who registered several achievements for the forces.
He died on Wednesday at Rubaga hospital due to diabetes surviving by over 100 children, many grandchildren and several wives.
At the time of his death Kashilingi who is survived by over 100 children, many grandchildren and several wives, was serving in the ministry of security as a liaison officer in charge veterans’ affairs.
The Rubabo county MP, Mr Naboth Namanya castigated government and the army for neglecting the late Kashilingi despite his enormous contribution to their being in power.
“There are some young generals in UPDF driving cars that can construct eight houses, but Kashilingi, number 40 in the army has died with an unfinished house. This is a bad example to the forces, as Rukungiri, as Rubabo and the whole country we are disappointed and we are not happy with the way UPDF treated him; that even at his death, not even a big government dignitary appeared for burial?” Mr Namanya said.
While he be regarded among the soldiers who have served for more years in the forces, his body was matched from an unfinished house, that looked to have been undergoing construction for several years gradually.
Leading the prayers for his send off, the Rukungiri District Kadhi Sheikh Abudul Malik Kanyuri commended the late for his generosity and not minding about worldly things even when he had a lot of power and authority at his disposal. He said the misery Lt Col Kashilingi endured for years never broke his spirit but strengthened and inspired him to become a great pillar to many.