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Uganda sends off a Great General

Editorial

Uganda sends off a Great General

This week, was pronounced dead on September 12, in Dubai. He had died midflight on his way back home from South Korea.

Gen. Aronda was Army MP, Minister of Internal Affairs and Former Chief of Defense Forces. Gen Aronda is a big loss to the country, notably because of his contribution to the peace, stability and economic development of this country. From the eulogies of President Museveni, fellow ministers, soldiers, MPs and wananchi, everyone talks about a man who quietly did a tremendous job for his country and individuals.

There was a woman who wept at his home in Buziga after news broke about his demise. She said the general was paying school fees for her children. She was not the only one. Aronda was a man who related with people from all walks of life.

Voices coming from his home in Nyakiju village, Buyanja Sub County in Rubabo-Rukungiri, locals lauded their son who selflessly intervened in their needs whenever he was called upon.

Nyakairima died at a tender age of 56. He still had a lot to offer although he had achieved a lot personally, for his country, Uganda, and the Eastern African region at large. However, he had not reached his potential.

The General who was known for his humble and listening demeanor joined the bush war in 1982 upon finishing university.

He was assigned to NRM chairman Hajj Moses Kigongo as his assistant. He would later work with the chieftaincy of military intelligence, Presidential Protection Unit, Mechanized Brigade in Masaka before he was appointed army commander and later Chief of Defence Forces.

When he was appointed minister in 2013, Gen Aronda carried out radical changes at the Immigration department that saw to the reduction in days citizens took to get their passports. Immigration was known to be a den of thieves.

The successful national Identity Card project stood out among government programmes he championed, and will forever be embalmed as the ID champion. A dutiful officer, who was always conscious of the time that there was no waste as there was a lot to be done.

Aronda died on duty on his way from South Korea where he had planned to secure equipment to further improve the national ID project. We join the government of Uganda, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Parliament and his family to mourn the towering soldier who dedicated his working life to the service of this nation.

We salute you Gen Aronda Nyakairima for your service. For defeating Joseph Kony’s Lord Resistance Army, for disarming Karamoja, building your officers homes, educating them, reducing corruption in the force, enforcing discipline, and creating stability in the South Sudan and Somalia.

As the country mourns Aronda, we can only make him live forever by taking forward the values he stood for; hard work, humility, integrity, service to country and professionalism. This has been a week to mourn you, and you deservingly receive a State funeral.

Fare thee well, General Aronda.

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