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Chopper interrupts former minister Kanyomozi’s burial service

Police helicopter at the Rwashamaire town council soccer pitch. URN photo

Ntungamo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Hundreds of mourners on Friday were treated to a dramatic scene at the burial service of Yonasani Kanyomozi, the former Minister of Cooperatives and Marketing in the Obote II government, when a helicopter landed nearby.

The 5X-MAH blue-white ribbon police helicopter that had delivered Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Internal Affairs landed at a football pitch located in the middle of Rwashamaire town council twice, first at 11:50am and later at 1:15pm bringing business and prayers to a standstill.

Children, youth and adult men and women alike, who thronged Rwashamaire town council soccer pitch about 300 metres from the venue gave a hard time to the Field Force Unit-FFU and Counter Terrorism police personnel who struggled to keep the excited crowd away from the chopper.

A spot in the middle of the pitch where the helicopter landed, that also hosts weekly market gatherings was stripped bare after the crowd uprooted all the grass under the belief that it is a ‘natural’ remedy for curing ailments such as epilepsy and that it also enhances wealth creation.

Speaking to URN, concerned area residents who included Julius Akandwaniraho, Allan Tashobya, Precious Kyobutungi and Alex Asiimwe explained that any grass and soil samples gathered from the ground where a helicopter has landed is believed, among the Banyankore traditionalists to work magic by curing ailments and bringing fortunes to families.

Konyomozi, 81, breathed his last from Nakasero Hospital in Kampala on Sunday, August 28th 2022 at 5:0 pm following an impulsive headache and general body weakness. His body arrived in his home town Rwashamaire, from Kampala on Wednesday night after over six hours of the 360kms road drive.

The deceased’s relatives; acquaintances, peers, and business partners eulogized him as a principled economist who cherished the ideals of cooperative societies for changing lives of the ordinary Ugandans, and his firm affiliation to the Uganda People’s Congress-UPC, a party he served for over 40 years.

Among the dignitaries attending his send-off were Beti Kamya (the Inspector General of Government), the Leader of Opposition in Parliament-LOP Mathias Mpuuga, veteran soldiers/politicians Dr Kiiza Besigye, Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu, UPC party President Jimmy Akena, area Members of Parliament among other close relatives, friends and in-laws.

The late Kanyomozi served in different capacities as Managing Director, Community Management Services from 1985 to date, Member of EALA (2001-2006), NRC Representative for Kajara County from 1989-1996, Bushenyi South legislator from 1980-1985.

He was also a member of the National Consultative Council (1979-1980), an economist at Africa Development Bank (1977-1979), Director of Industrial Development Centre, and Economic Advisor and Personal Aide to the Chairman Uganda Electricity Board between 1966-1970.



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