Ntungamo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Former Minister of Cooperatives and marketing Yona Bankobeza Kanyomozi was on Friday laid to rest amidst calls for economic change from opposition leaders.
Kanyomozi, 81, succumbed to diabetes at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala on Sunday afternoon and was laid to rest on Friday at his ancestral home in Rwashamaire Town Council in Kajara Sub County Ntungamo district.
Sabiti Kanyomozi, the first son of the deceased said that his father had to travel long distances the last two weeks before his death despite him being frail.
His son said during the burial on Saturday in Ntungamo District that his father attended two weddings and a court case in Kampala that involved land grabbers which were postponed and caused him stress. Sabiti said on Sunday his father’s sugar levels had increased and he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Nakasero Hospital where he died shortly.
The burial that was graced by Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of Internal Affairs who represented President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the Chief Mourner was also attended by other senior and veteran politicians, leaders, friends and relatives.
The burial that started with a low tone of speeches later turned into political blame when the Former Forum for Democratic Change President Dr. Kiiza Besigye accused the NRM government of failing the cooperatives that the Late Kanyomozi struggled to put in place.
While talking about late Hon Yona Kanyomozi, Bishop Hannington Mutebi underscored the importance of “finishing well”, rather than just starting well.
Thousands gathered at Rwashamaire, Yona’s home, today, to affirm that he run a great race and has FINISHED WELL.
Adios amigo! pic.twitter.com/60HbY77KlS
— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) September 2, 2022
Besigye appreciated the Uganda people’s Congress because the current foundation of Uganda’s economy was set by them. He, however, said he was concerned that the late Kanyomozi has left the country in hard economic times.
He said the country was divided into considering what was trending on social media over the death of Gen. Elly Tumwine noting that people needed to come together despite one’s political affiliation emulating the Late Kanyomozi who welcomed everybody.
Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament said the deceased had left a gap that required the elders and everyone’s responsibilities to change the uproar of the economy.
He said the late had time for everyone to advise and counsel noting that the country was left with a vacuum in the lost gallant politician who spoke out and tried something on today’s challenges in the country.
Jimmy Akena, the President General of the Uganda People’s Congress described the late Kanyomozi who served the party and country with dignity noting that the biggest gift the late gave to the country was his role as minister of cooperatives and marketing coming from a very difficult fallen economy.
He said it is not the liberation but the committed members who set up cooperatives and a commercial back that the country has lost.
The Minister of Internal Affairs Kahinda Otafiire, said trading accusations and blaming the government was not a solution to stabilizing the country noting that the government had started the process of listening starting with the Democratic Party, and UPC noting that they were ready to dialogue as the solution.
In his eulogy read by Gen Kahinda, the President appreciated the late Kanyomozi for teaching him Mathematics at the Junior secondary level and that the country had lost a hardworking, resourceful leader who the country needed his knowledge and expertise to further development.
The service to send-off the late Kanyomozi was led by Bishop Guard Akajuna of Kigezi Diocese, was also attended by other leaders who included Betty Kamya the Inspector General of Government, Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu, and Members of Parliament, Veteran Politicians Richard Keijuka, Amanya Mushega, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu among others.
The Renowned Economist the late Kanyomozi worked in different economic institutions like the Africa Development Bank, worked as Director Uganda Industrial development centre 1970- 1972, assistant general manager the East African External Communications Company from 1972 to 1977, and associate Consultant Price Waterhouse, among others.
The late Yona Bankobeza Kanyomozi was born in Rukindo village current Eastern division of Ntungamo municipality in 1940, served as Member of Parliament for Bushenyi South during the Obote II regime in the 1980s, and Kajara County representative in the National Resistance Council from 1989 to 1996 becoming the first legislator for Kajara County when Ntungamo district was created 1993.
The Yona Bankobeza Kanyomozi is survived by seven children. His wife Dorothy Wangiru Kanyomozi also passed away in 2015.