What you need to know:
- Local leaders have hailed the conservationist for being influential despite being outside the Uganda's political field.
Rubirizi District residents were Tuesday shocked following the death of renowned conservationist and philanthropist, Yonasani Mwebaze Beshorora.
Mr Mwebaze,60, a resident of Kanyambiri Village, Ndangaro Parish, and Bunyaruguru County in Rubirizi District succumbed to brain cancer at around 9:30pm on Tuesday at Mulago Cancer Institute where he had been admitted for months.
“It is a great loss to the family. He was loving, caring, social, and trustworthy- and loved development. He has been our uniting factor,” Mr William Ndyabawe, the elder brother said.
Mwebaze graduated in Accounting at Makerere University, worked for several national parks in the country including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Lake Mburo National Park before his retirement in 2008.
50, 000 trees
Upon retirement, Mr Mwebaze started a community organisation called Kamusiime Memorial Rural Development Pilot Scheme together with 22 others with a “vision of advocating for sustainable natural resource use by increasing the impact of trees in reducing poverty through community forestry in Rubirizi.”
“We have so far planted 50 hectares of pine trees with about 50,000 trees. We made a bee keeping project and Nursery that supplies trees to local communities in the district,”Mr William Tumusiime, the conservation manager at Kamusiime Memorial Rural Development Pilot Scheme said.
Mr Tumusiime described the deceased as a systematic and passionate educationist who loved God.
Bunyaruguru County MP John Twesigye Ntamuhira described the deceased as a nationwide developmental figure.
“I have known the late Beshorora for over 10 years. He was passionate about development, environmental conservation, poverty eradication and education and valued humanity,” he observed on May 26.
The deceased employed over 1000 people in his projects which included farming, forestry and Kamusiime Saving and Credit Cooperative. Close friends say was also paying school fees for over 100 children in Rutoto Sub- County.
“He started the Rutoto Opinion leaders and Elders Forum that was intended to foster unity and development in the area,” Mr Twesigye said.
Mr Benon Atuzarirwe, who worked with him at Busingye Memorial Primary School, Rutoto said his former boss was transparent.
“I met the deceased when I was a head teacher at Busingye Memorial School, Rutoto and he was our treasurer. He was strict on accountability,” he said.
He added: “He is the one that started the boarding section at this school by constructing the first boarding structure. Further, he initiated and supported construction of teachers’ houses here.”
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Rutoto Sub-county chairperson Mr Milton John Turyatemba, said they have lost a tree planting champion at a critical time when the world is faced with global warming concerns.
“He was the president of Rutoto elders’ forum, treasurer of many institutions including schools and churches and a conservationist. He gave us land for the construction of Rutoto piped water that is set to supply water in the whole district,” he said.
Mr Turyatemba said the deceased was spearheading plans to have a hospital in the area before his death.
“He also had planned to revamp Rutoto Secondary School,” the local leader stated.
Former Rubirizi Speaker Mr Umar Katinamu hailed the deceased for loving to serve people despite being outside politics.
“Sometimes we would ask ourselves how he was benefiting from this so much love for the community. Many people believed in him and you could not succeed in any attempt without his mobilisation,” he said.
The late Beshorora will May 28 be laid to rest at his home in Kanyambiriri Village, Ndangaro Parish.