Hundreds mourn as Gen. Kasirye Ggwanga gets his final salute
Many of us in Kampala had already known that the burial ceremony of Gen. Kasirye Ggwanga would be attended by the selected few, family members, a few friends and UPDF officers perhaps. But many in Nkene village, his chosen final resting place overlooking lake Wamala in Busujju county, Mityana district received the directives by the army with mixed feelings.
Some were seen asking and wondering why a man who had been a darling to them and a friend to many in the country could be, at the end of his journey of life, sent off by not more than 100 people only.
Kasirye Gwanga’s children were seen stranded in the way leading to their dad’s burial site. This angered the residents even more.
These very obedient men and women, majority of them wearing masks and ready to sanitize and to allow health assistants there to check their temperature watched in disbelief as Kasirye’s children stood among them waiting, for their names to be included on the list of those who were to bury Kasirye.
Little was immediately known about why they were left out since not all media houses were given full access into Gen. Kasirye’ s burial site.
Later, Ggwanga’s children were given the green light to attend their father’s funeral ceremony. Those seen out waiting to be included on the list for those supposed to bury was Ggwanga’s first born son, and care taker at his Nakisunga, MUKONO based expansive Camp David.
The last born was there too. Video clips showed more than four of Ggwanga’s relatives stuck with other mourners out, have heavily circulated on social media already. This has not pleased Ugandans. The UPF, the army Kasirye Ggwanga has served for more thirty years was in charge of the General’s burial.
To protect Busujju residents and other mourners from COVID-19 , those attending the burial of Ggwanga had to attend in line with the preventive guidelines issued by authorities against the spread of coronavirus.
Social distancing and other guidelines had to be strictly enforced. However not all people understood this. They say this was done to keep them away from sending off their friend. Their darling Kasirye Ggwanga.
People in Nkene say they were ready to adhere to the social distancing guildlines and that they did. All people really interested in burying Ggwanga had worn a mask. They were obedient too.
We don’t know why what we saw happened but some of the things that were done by the guidlines enforcers were unnecessary.
People were shocked when they saw more than four children left by Kasirye Ggwanga at first denied access to their late father’s home.
Kasirye was laid to rest at Nkene village, Busujju, in Mityana on Friday June 12, in a purely scientific funeral ceremony that was attended by mostly relatives and security officers, mainly from the UPDF.
Kasirye was born in 1952. He went to Katakala Primary School and Kibuli Secondary School. After his O’ level, he joined the Uganda Army in 1972.
Kasirye Gwanga was arrested when TPDF, the Tanzanian army commanded by Julius Nyerere attacked Uganda during Amin’s regime. He was taken as a prisoner of war in Tanga, Tanzania.
Ggwanga was released in 1981 after the government of Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa negotiated with Tanzania the return of prisoners of war to Uganda.
He joined the Uganda Freedom Army led by Dr. Kayiira Kutakome. In 1985 Kasirye Ggwanga joined the National Resistance Army rebels led by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
His main area of specialization was in the artillery and commanded 120mm unit as they attacked Kampala in January 1986. He served as the director of stores in the UPDF.
Kasirye Ggwanga also served as the LCV chairperson of Mubende district between 2001 and 2005.
He died on Tuesday June 9, 2020, at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala. Ggwanga will be greatly missed. May his soul rest in eternal peace.