Former FDC President Col Dr Kizza Besigye on Sunday afternoon lightened up the final send-off of his father in law Mzee Boniface Byanyima, narrating his relations with him back in the day.
Mzee Byanyima succumbed to stroke in Kampala last Tuesday, at the age of 97.
Speaking at the funeral, Dr Besigye recalled that he met with the deceased, long before he asked to marry his daughter Winnie Byanyima.
He said the old man warned him about the character of the young Winnie, who he thought would be impossible for Besigye.
“I feel I was greatly blessed knowing him, and understanding him which led to our great friendship,” said Besigye of his departed father in law.
“When I came to ask for a hand in marriage, he held my hand and asked whether I would be able to manage this Karagwa (Winnie) woman. He told me that Karagwa was not a simple person. But I told him, ‘Look Mzee, I am also good at handling the impossible,’” Besigye recalled.
“I am glad therefore, that the Karagwa he handed me, we have moved along very well, to this date.”
The four time presidential candidate praised the deceased as a unifying factor, a nationalist and a man who was true to himself.
“You might have heard by now that Mzee Byanyima had no religion in his speech, but in his way of life, he was a truly godly person,” he said. “That is why we are all gathered here today because he touched so many lives.
Dr. Besigye told the mourners that he was deeply disheartened by news reports that came out portraying the Byanyima family as self-centred and tribalist, following the arrest of the Kanyamunyu brothers.
“This hurt me a lot because the family of Byanyima is one that accepts and welcomes everyone from everywhere,” he said, citing the delegations of people who came for the burial from Lango, Acholi and other regions of the country.
Besigye also decried the implementation of Uganda laws against segregation, which he said target only those that talk about segregation and not those that actually segregate.
He also regretted that while Mzee Byanyima helped the country free itself from colonial rule where Ugandans were dominated by foreigners, he passed away when the citizens are still being treated in the same way as the old colonial masters by their native elected leaders.
“What he fought for therefore has not been achieved.”
Besigye at the funeral also preached against segregation, based on social, political and religious lines.
“I once told people in Nyabushozi that in the 1980s, when we were looking for votes for President Museveni, the people in Kiruhura refused to vote for him. He went to the bush and we went with him, but now the people of Kiruhura say they love him more than us.
“This is why I tell you that what we are fighting for is not party politics by equality, which the deceased devoted his life time to fight for.”