PHOTOS: Grief As Gen Aronda’s Body is Returned Home

Opposition Uganda People’ Congress (UPC) under the leadership of Lira Municipality Member of Parliament, check Jimmy Michael Akena have warned The Democratic Alliance (TDA) against interfering with the internal party politics who have continued to esteem Dr Olara Otunnu as the party president.

“Whereas the UPC July 1, 2015 Delegates Conference upheld a clear mandate of the May 30, 2015 district Conference votes and approved Jimmy Akena as the new party president, the opposition coalition secretariat has continued to work and collaborate with the party old leadership making themselves a determinant of who leads the party,” angrily noted the party spokesperson, Michael Orach Osinde while addressing a weekly press conference at Uganda House.

“And whereas UPC held its undisputed National Council meeting from August 13 to 15, 2015 where members voted against joining TDA, we are apparently not only concerned in the manner TDA is interfering with UPC internal affairs but rather wondering the interest of TDA in flying the UPC flag at TDA offices without our consent given the fact that Olara Otunnu does not represent UPC and he is not the party president,” Osinde wondered.

“We warn TDA that in case they don’t lower down the UPC flag at their secretariat within three days, we shall take them on using all possible ways,” Osinde warned.

Osinde emphasized that to this effect, a letter was delivered to TDA leadership explaining their grievances and warning them against interfering with party politics.

However, TDA maintains that they have not received any notification of UPC’s change of leadership or their decision to withdraw from TDA.

To this, the UPC mouthpiece reminded the TDA that the National Council decision was to disassociate from any activity of TDA.

“The question that should be answered first is when did UPC join TDA? Was it after June 11 when Otunnu declined to sign the protocol claiming that he was waiting for the decision of National Council? Otunnu did sign the protocol without a clear mandate from the party since by that time he was not the party president.”

“Writing to TDA for withdraw can’t be effective since in the first place, we have never been members. We therefore demand that with immediate effect, our flag must stop flying at TDA secretariat.”

Osinde advised TDA to review its procedure of admitting pressure groups to accommodate Olara Otunnu and his cabinet members in TDA to promote peaceful co-existence if in any way they can’t accommodate him as an eminent person.

The body of the fallen Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Aronda Nyakairima was Wednesday afternoon returned from the United Arab Emirates where he died on Saturday on his way back home from South Korea.

Silence and grief filled the air as the Emirates Airbus A330-200 escorted by a UPDF fighter jet landed at Entebbe International Airport at exactly 1:28 pm.

40 minutes later after the passengers disembarked the plane, purchase the casket was lowered onto a roller to  waiting pallbearers – all UPDF Generals — who included the former deputy Chief of Defense Forces, approved Lt. Gen Ivan Koreta, the General Court Martial boss Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga and Commander Land Forces Maj. Gen. David Muhoozi.

Salutation for the fallen lion

Salutation for the fallen lion

Other senior UPDF officers who received the casket included Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta, Gen Kale Kayihura, Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador of Uganda to Somalia Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti and the   Executive Chairman of the National Enterprise Corporation, the business arm of the UPDF, Maj. Gen. James Mugira.

At this moment, the UPDF brass band honored their fallen comrade by playing the national anthem and the East African anthem.

The widow Linda and the breaved family after saying their goodbyes

The widow Linda (C) and the bereaved family after saying their goodbyes

The departed General’s wife Linda then moved in and embraced the deceased’s casket as a way of saying ‘good bye’ to her darling before it was placed in a waiting Uganda Funeral Services van and escorted by other UPDF vehicles.

Speaking shortly after the arrival of the body, the UPDF spokesperson Lt.Col Paddy Ankunda described the former Chief of the Defense Forces as a great lion that the army and country at large have lost.

Guard of Honor

Guard of Honor

“He got us from grass and left us in glory. He has done a lot for his country and we are grateful for everything,” Lt. Col. Ankunda said of the deceased.

Autopsy  starts at Mulago

The UPDF spokesperson revealed that the body would be driven to Mulago hospital mortuary where an autopsy will be done to find out what caused the death.

Ankunda noted that the first team of pathologists who flew to Dubai was to make sure that the body and documents are not tampered with, and that the full examination would be done from here.

Aronda's body laced in the funeral van to Mulago

Aronda’s body laced in the funeral van to Mulago

“Pathologists will start their work and we will leave no stone unturned in finding out the cause of his death.  We didn’t want to tamper with the body while still in Dubai but at the city mortuary the thorough process will be done,” he said.

Ankunda cleared the air on the day of burial noting that it will be done on Sunday as has been requested by President Museveni in a bid to allow him attend the function.

Gen Aronda will be laid to rest on Sunday

RIP: Gen Aronda will be laid to rest on Sunday

“The President asked his family that burial is delayed to Sunday to enable him attend; considering his busy schedule on Saturday.”

The function at Entebbe airport was graced by UPDF, prisons and police officers led by the CDF Gen.Katumba Wamala, Gen. Elly Tumwine, IGP Gen.Kale Kayihura, Col. James Birungi (Airforce) Johnson Byabashaija; Ministers  Crispus Kiyonga , Mary Karooro Okurut and permanent secretaries from the defence and Internal Affairs ministries among other dignitaries.

The bereaved family leaves the airport

The bereaved family leaves the airport

Gen. Aronda’s body will lie in state in parliament tomorrow Thursday before being taken for prayers at Kololo independence grounds and burial will take place on Sunday in Rukungiri district.

Born on July 7, 1959 the former CDF from 2003 to 2013 is survived by a wife Linda Kahooza Aronda and two children.


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