OBITUARY: The year 2021 has been filled with lots of events and memories for both good and bad, and as we wind up the year to welcome 2022, DailyExpress has exclusively compiled a list of top 10 prominent Ugandans that we lost in 2021 ranging from religious icons, politicians, business acumen and military personnel.
Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga
The Late Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga was pronounced dead on Saturday, April 3, 2021, after he was found dead in his room and a later postmortem report would indicate that he had died of a blood clot.
Known to be vocal, Lwanga had on several occasions taken a swipe at government over its excesses and violation of human rights.
For example, in one of his last statements, he condemned security organs over brutality and violation of human rights.
“We are deeply concerned about the actions of some security agencies in relation to the disappearance of some of our people, especially youths. This is brewing anger, division, fear and anxiety within the population,” Lwanga said.
“It totally contravenes the human rights frameworks to which we are signatory as a country. We are troubled that such a disregard of these God-given rights and freedoms shall weaken our social linkup of harmony, social cohesion and responsive leadership.”
PSFU’s Gideon Badagawa
The Private Sector Foundation Uganda on June 21, 2021 pronounced the death of Mr. Gideon Badagawa, the then Executive Director of the foundation. Badagawa died at the age of 54 after battling Covid-19.
“The Board, Management and Staff of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU), with deep sorrow regret to announce the untimely death of their executive director, Mr. Gideon Badagawa, who passed away this morning Monday June 21st, 2021, in Mulago Hospital,” Dr Elly Karuhanga, PSFU board chairman said earlier in June.
Badagawa was also a member of the Board of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Board of Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company Limited, Board of Uganda National Planning Authority (NPA), Board of Uganda Warehouse Receipts Authority (UWRA), and Board of the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
Gen Paul Lokech
On August, 21, the country and the world at large were thrown into shock after the announcement of the death of Maj Gen Paul Lokech who was serving as the Deputy Inspector General of Police.
Christened the Lion of Mogadishu for his exploits in dislodging Al Shabaab fighters from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, the world was shocked to hear the man who had roared in combats had died of a blood clot.
Speaking of his death, the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo described Lokech as a large tree whose demise would be felt greatly by the Acholi region where he hailed from.
The top UPDF brass also spoke of the “great warrior” that Lokech was with exploits displayed well in Somalia, Northern Uganda, and DRC among other areas where he served.
He was described as one of the finest and bravest commanders the UPDF has ever had but on the other hand, one with humility and admired by many.
Archbishop Jonah Lwanga
The Archbishop of the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga was announced dead at the age of 76. Lwanga is said to have succumbed to prostate cancer in Athens, Greece where he had been rushed to for treatment.
The Archbishop of the Orthodox Church was also known to speak to authorities about their excesses on several occasions.
“We are going to suffer human rights abuse until NRM is dissolved. And it (NRM) is going to dissolve very soon. I say this prophetically, it is not going to be there because it has disturbed this nation very much. It is going to dissolve. And when it dissolves, then things will go wonderfully,” Metropolitan Lwanga said during his Easter message in 2019.
Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige alias BMK
Business Mogul Dr. Hajji Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige, popularly known as BMK the proprietor of Hotel Africana passed on at the age of 68 on September 10, 2021.
Muwanga, also the owner of BMK Apartments breathed his last at Nairobi hospital after battling complications related to cancer, which he had battled for the last four years.
A seasoned businessman, Hajji Muwanga started his business empire with the 40-room motel Hotel Africana on Kololo Hill, which is within Kampala’s central business district. During the next decade, the hotel grew into a four-star establishment.
Prof. Anthony Mbonye
In July this year, the former Director-General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Prof. Anthony K. Mbonye was pronounced dead. Prof. Mbonye died from his home at Buziga, a Kampala suburb.
The professor at the School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University and Uganda Christian University is remembered for his book, Uganda’s Health Sector – Through Turbulent Politics (1958-2018).
The book rattled many at the Ministry of Health as he exposed what he termed as rot and power struggles at the ministry.
Lt Gen Pecos Kutesa
In August, bush war hero and former UPDF representative in parliament, Lt Gen Pecos Kutesa died at the age of 65. Pecos who had a few weeks earlier retired from the active service of the UPDF died while on admission at Max Hospital in New Delhi in India.
Prior to his death, he was also the Commander of the UPDF Centre for Doctrine Development and Synthetisation.
Having been trained at Munduli Military Academy in Tanzania and after the fall of Amin, he was sent to Nakasongola Military Training School, Kutesa in1981, deserted the army to join Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels.
He is remembered as one of Museveni’s bodyguards in the bush and is said to have accompanied him as he made “treacherous” journeys across Lake Victoria into Kenya to bring arms for the NRA rebels.
At the burial, Lt Gen Pecos Kutesa received a 15-gun salute as a befitting send-off.
Other prominent figures who died this year include Mathias Kasamba, the former EALA MP and NRM director for mobilization and cadre development.