In the wee hours of Sunday, we received devastating news of the passing on of the governor bank of Uganda, a man who is believed to have contributed much towards building Uganda’s economy. Reading through the eulogies flowing on different social media platforms you get a clear image of Who Prof Emmanuel Mutebire was both at the level of Kigezi as a subregion and Uganda as a country.
I have read through his profile on one of the what’s app groups and it was saying most of the international monitory organizations borrowed his wisdom to build themselves and also help to build the economies of other countries in the world. On a rare occasion, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya sent his sympathies to President Yoweri Museveni and Ugandans via the twitter handle of State house Kenya. This clearly shows who Prof Emmanuel Mutebire was and proves to us that he was indeed an icon not only to Kigezi but to Uganda and the world.
The death of Prof Emmanuel Mutebire follows that of Dr Abel Rwendeire , Manzi Tumubweine and several who have since then departed living a huge vacuum in the institutions where they served and also the positions they took in the community of Banyakigezi. While studying from my local primary school, I got to know about Dr Abel Rwendeire through a campaign poster that was brought at home by my father, I would later at University, meet him on Facebook, chat with him and later got an invitation to his office in Kampala and became good friends until when he died. There’s a huge question almost in everyone’s mind. Who is replacing these iconic figures of Kigezi? That Question seems to be so much challenging because even those who seem to be at the same level with the ones we lost are either in retirement or too old now to serve. These days, We hear from them Once in a while and the glory of Kigezi is going down slowly by slowly.
The personalities of Kigezi, are actually not going alone. Even the schools that modeled them to become what they’re are also dying. It’s very shocking that Kigezi college Butobere which used to be a great school has only 100 students as of today. In some schools 100 students only make one class. I don’t know if we should blame our iconic personalities for that problem but it’s very disturbing. Maybe they didn’t bother going back to those schools and make sure they help in keeping those schools standing so that more iconic figures can come from the beautiful hills of Kigezi.
Then how about the young people? the young generation who should actually be in the foot steps of the great people from Kigezi who have made names nationaly and internationally? Have they been mentored enough to get where our great men were? If not, then where is the problem? It appears every man is for himself and God for us all. Perhaps those young people should read history of whoever they admire, watch videos on Utube and try as much as they can to meet those people they admire to share a word or two that could help in their journey of keeping the candle burning.
As our elders continue to depart, while others are in retirement and several others on their death bed, it’s not only their Families, or Kigezi as a subregion that is losing. uganda is also losing people who have lot of wisdom. People who fixed challenges of the country and I understand that each of them played a role in fighting for the stability that we have enjoyed for now thirty seven years.
These ones did not mind about their safety at all or the individual gains. They simply wanted a free, stable and growing nation which they’ve seen happen. If there’s anything that can be done to have our icons be replaced then let it be done today and not tomorrow. Let the young people leave their comfort zones, take lessons and know that one time we had great men and women of whom the world bowed in respect at the mention of their names.
The name Kigezi comes from the word Amagyezi which means wisdom in English. So let that wisdom be inherited by every young person from Kigezi and Uganda as a whole and let’s use it to tap into the blessings crested by our grand fathers who have gone to be with the Lord and those who are in the evening of their age. God bless Kigezi, God bless Uganda.
The writer is a munyakigezi and a deputy RDC Kyenjojo District
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