The House was today covered in grief as the body of Joash Mayanja Nkangi, the fallen former Buganda premier was delivered to the chambers for last respects.
Grave silence swept across the chambers of parliament as speaker after speaker sung resonance for the amiable works by Nkangi during the time he served government in different key positions.
Parliament was paying tribute to the late Mayanja 85, who also serviced in different government positions before relinquishing to private ventures.
In a motion presented by Gen Moses Ali, the First Deputy Prime Minister, government hailed Nkangi for his boldness to face tough situations during the time he served in government.
“The history of our country can never be complement unless the name of Hon Mayanja Nkangi as a hero has been included,” said Gen Ali.
Moses Ali also said that Nkangi will be remembered for fostering dialogue during the trying moments of post-independence turbulence between the Mengo Establishment and the Central government.
The mood remained sombre throughout the session.
Ms Winnie Kiiza the Leader of Opposition in a message delivered by Roland Kaginda (FDC-Rukungiri Municipality MP says that Nkangi’s much-sung legacy must be emulated by government ministers and other public officials, in honour of Nkangi’s democratic principles.
“Uganda has lost a true servant who loved his country and he was instrumental in Uganda’s independence…as a believer of democracy, it was challenging that political parties including his Conservative Party were limited by this regime to operate(only) at their headquarters,” reads the Statement.
Ms Kiiza’s statement further challenged government on the Uganda Investment Authority which was pioneered by Nkangi during the time he served as Minister of Finance to foster equity and increased production.
“Unfortunately foreign investors have been given priority over Uganda investors even when they are dealing in the same products…..and the Authority has also failed to Identify priority production areas,” said Kiiza.
Several emissaries from the Mengo establishment, family and political divide kept watching from the gallery as their hero was being honored. Silence filled the House as every member firmly remained in his/her seat to witness the August House’s tribute.
Nkangi, a lawyer by training, served as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs from 1998 to 2002; Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development from 1992 to 1998; Minister of Economic Planning from 1989 to 1992; Minister of Education from 1986 to 1989 and Minister of Commerce from 1962 to 1964.
Maj Gen (rtd) Kahinda Otafire, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister scoffed at people who use their public positions to plunge wealth on earth saying that they are chasing hot air.
“Nkangi was a great man, at the end of the day we all work for the moment like this…it is not the troubles we create while we are on earth, it is not what we acquire when we are on earth…” said Otafiire adding that, “it is what people say on a day like this one, this is your legacy, Nkangi was a great man and he has written in history, no one can wash it away.’
His eminence the Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala said that the country should celebrate Nkangi’s life instead of mourning.
He also served as chairperson Uganda Land Commission between 2002 and 2013.
Nkangi died on Monday at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala, where he had been admitted after suffering from Pneumonia.
His burial is slated for tomorrow at his ancestral home in Kanyogoga, located in Kalungu west Constituency.