President Museveni yesterday paid tribute to the second deputy Prime Minister, Alhajji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, as a committed patriot, who contributed to their liberation struggles.
Alhajji Kivejinja, 85, died at Mulago National Referral Hospital on Saturday after being admitted for several weeks with coronavirus.
"The NRM party has lost a committed and patriotic mobiliser, whose tireless efforts helped to deepen the roots of our historical mission to transform Uganda, from a peasant society into a modern and prosperous country," President Museveni said in a condolence message to mourners at Uganda National Mosque in Old Kampala.
The message was relayed by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda via Zoom.
President Museveni described Alhajji Kivejinja as a freedom fighter, who lived a life of sacrifice, discipline and humility.
The late Kivejinja held several ministerial posts in President Museveni's government including Minister for Relief and Social Rehabilitation; Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Minister Without Portfolio, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, deputy National Political Commissar, Minister of East African Community and Minister of Internal Affairs.
President Museveni and the late Kivejinja had a long relationship in politics. They were both members of the Uganda Patriotic Movement party in the 1980s.
"The late Rt Hon Kivejinja will be remembered for his distinguished contribution to our liberation struggles to free Uganda and the whole of Africa from the yoke of colonialism and the post-independence dictatorial regimes," President Museveni said.
Dr Rugunda said the late Alhajji Kivejinja started his political activism during his stay in India where he was studying.
He said when he returned to Uganda, Kivejinja worked so hard to deepen people's national consciousness.
According to Dr Rugunda, during the NRA armed struggle, Alhajji Kivejinja went to Austria where he built relationships that were used by the NRM leaders to connect with people in the diaspora in 1985.
"He loved education and sent many students in many centres to acquire knowledge. And we went to different districts especially in Busoga (region) identifying young men and women and encouraged them to study," he said.
Mufti Ramadan Mubajje, who led the prayers, asked Ugandans to emulate the hard work of the deceased and urged them to adhere to Ministry of Health guidelines for prevention of Coronavirus.
Kivejinja was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Buwabe Village, Ibulanku Sub-county in Bugweri District yesterday. He was given a 24-gun salute by officers of the Uganda Police Force.
Mr Saleh Kivejinja, the brother of the deceased, who spoke on behalf of the family, said: "There are many things that my brother shared with me before he passed on, but to know more of him, go back to the late Shaban Nkuutu's biography."
The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, and NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, were represented at the burial by Minister for the Presidency, Ms Esther Mbayo.
Compiled by Andrew Bagala, Phillip Wafula, Denis Edema, & Irene Abalo
Source: The Monitor