UPC’s old warrior Rurangaranga gets official send-off


The hearse bearing the body of the late Maj Rurangaranga (inset) at Uganda House in Kampala.

PARLIAMENT–A special sitting is underway at Parliament in fulfilment of a government’s promise to accord retired opposition figure Edward Rurangaranga, an official burial.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda on Wednesday announced that President Museveni directed that an official burial be organized for Maj Rurangaranga.

“Our elder Edward Rurangaranga played a significant role in Uganda’s pre and post-independence history, both at local and national levels. He mentored many and was a principled man,” Dr Rugunda said at a meeting where plans for burial arrangements were agreed.

The PM has this afternoon joined MPs in paying tribute to the former national chairman of the Uganda Peoples Congress, a party to which many historical members of the current government once called home.

At 85, the retired Maj Rurangaranga’s interest in national affairs had not dimmed. The government, therefore, lauded him for “his work and service to the country”.

The casket carrying his remains was received on the steps of Parliament by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa; former UPC stalwarts Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal and Tourism Minister Ephraim Kamuntu, plus other government officials.

Paying tribute, Cecilia Ogwal who was herself a fearless and dedicated UPC member before she fell out with the party leadership and joined the Forum for Democratic Change, said: “I want to thank the late Rurangaranga who was a good friend and brother”.

On Wednesday, August 2, the body was taken to UPC headquarters, Uganda House for members to pay their last respects. Among these were Olara Otunnu faction representative Joseph Bossa; Jimmy Akena (leader of the other UPC faction); Mama Miria Obote, Yona Kanyomozi and Prof. Patrick Rubayihayo from the Milton Obote Foundation.

The deceased was one of the founding fathers of the UPC in 1959 which led Uganda to independence and served in the Obote II government as local government minister. He collapsed and died on Tuesday morning at his home in Kitagata, Sheema district.

There will be a funeral service at All Saints Church in Nakasero at 9 a.m. tomorrow and thereafter the body will be taken to Kitanjonjo village, Kitagata for burial.



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