Speaking to mourners at Muyenga on Thursday evening, President Museveni described the late Boniface Byanyima as a pioneer in many aspects of life.
‘‘Mzee Byanyima was pioneer and great pillar, who will be remembered for his exceptional works in Ankole and Uganda at large.’’
‘ ‘He was a pioneer of education in Ankole. He started teaching many years back but I got to know him as a teacher at Mbarara high school in 1959.” Museveni said.
Museveni also praised Mzee Byanyima as one of the few farmers in the Ankole region who embraced modern farming after being introduced by the colonial government in 1958. He started this at the Ankole-Masaka ranching scheme and became one of the three examples of modern farmers in our area.
Politically “He always stuck to what he believed’’
‘ ‘I respected him because he stuck to his beliefs. Because of those principles, when the alliance collapsed, many members crossed and joined UPC but he remained in DP.”
Museveni urged people to always do good while still alive because when they die, their legacies stay. ‘ ‘It is therefore, an honour for me to pay my respects to Mzee Byanyima for his age and accomplishments. I came here to salute his contribution. When we die, what is left behind is our contribution. Jesus lived thousands of years ago, but his memory and contribution lives on.’’ The president said.
The president noted that he won’t be able to go to Mbarara for the burial.
The late Byanyima first met President Museveni in the late 1950s at Mbarara High School. The two are said to have got along so well that Mzee Byanyima eventually let Mr Museveni stay in his home, commonly known as Green Cottages, in Ruti, 4 kilometres from Mbarara town, on Kabale Road.
When Mr Museveni went to the bush to wage a guarlial war against Milton Obote’s government, Mzee Byanyima reportedly looked after his mother. He was 94 years old at the time of his death.
Mzee Boniface Byanyima, is one of Uganda’s pioneer pre-independence politicians died on Wednesday at Nakasero Hospital. Byanyima, is the father of Ms Winnie Byanyima, of former Mbarara Municipality MP and the current executive director of Oxfam International. Winnie is a wife of Dr Kizza Besigye, the four-time presidential candidate.
Byanyima for state burial
During a cabinet meeting on Wednesday at State House Entebbe, President Museveni directed the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda to take on the necessary arrangements to ensure Mzee Byanyima is accorded an official funeral. In this case government will take charge of burial process.
On Friday May 19, Mzee Byanyima’s body will therefore lie in state at parliament for eulogizing and public viewing. There after a funeral service will then be held at St Paul’s cathedral, Namirembe on Saturday. Mzee Byanima’s body will then be taken to his home in Ruti, Mbarara for a vigil and burial will on Sunday.