Museveni Mourns Kategaya's Death

treatment geneva; font-size: small;”>“The President is so saddened by the death of a comrade in the struggle and childhood friend, try ” Special Presidential Assistant on Communications, Sarah Kagingo tells Chimpreports.

Kagingo further notes this is a “trying moment” for the President, considering that he lost his father, Mzee Amos Kaguta just a week ago.

Government is yet to reveal the cause of Kategaya’s death.

Uganda Media Centre boss Fred Opolot and Information Minister Mary Karooro Okurut were not readily available for comment.


But government recently said Kategaya was steadily recovering from deep venous thrombosis (DVT) at Nairobi Hospital.

One of Kategaya’s daughters who preferred anonymity told this website in an exclusive interview late last month that her father “is getting better now.”

She further revealed that Kategaya had left the intensive care unit though doctors had restricted access to the influential government official to allow him relax.

“I am not sure when he will be discharged but we expect him to leave this Hospital very soon. Doctors did not want people to disturb him but at 10:00am today one of us will have a chat with him,” Kategaya’s daughter said then.

The Minister for East African Community Affairs early last month slipped into coma at Nakasero Hospital before being airlifted to Nairobi Hospital for specialist treatment.

Eriya Kategaya was a Ugandan lawyer and politician. At the time of his death he was Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs.

He was also an ex officio Member of the Ugandan Parliament, on account of being a cabinet minister.

He was born on 4 July 1945 in Kyamate, Ntungamo District district, in western Uganda. Kategaya was a longtime associate of President Yoweri Museveni, starting from their school days in Ntare School in the early 1960s.

Kategaya held a Bachelor of Law (LLB), degree from the University of Dar-es-Salaam. At the time of his graduation the university was part of the University of East Africa. His friend, Yoweri Museveni, attended Dar-es-Salaam University at the same time.

Military and political training

Kategaya was part of Museveni’s Front for National Salvation (FRONASA), a group of Ugandan exiles in Tanzania who eventually helped topple Idi Amin in 1979 with the help of the Tanzania People’s Defence Force.

In 1980, he was a founder of the Uganda Patriotic Movement, headed by Museveni to contest in the elections.

When Museveni launched the guerrilla struggle against the Milton Obote II administration (1981 – 1985), Kategaya served in the ‘External Wing’ of the rebel National Resistance Movement (NRM) and National Resistance Army (NRA).

The NRM transformed into the National Resistance Movement political party, while the NRA became the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).

Political career

When the NRM and NRA eventually took power in January 1986, Kategaya was one of the groups’ top leadership and considered by most as the Number Two after Museveni.

Between 1986 and 2001, Kategaya served in various capacities as National Political Commissar for the NRM and Minister in Museveni’s governments.

During Museveni’s second term as elected President (2001 – 2006), Kategaya, then serving as Internal Affairs Minister, famously fell out with the President when he opposed moves to have the Constitution amended to remove presidential term limits.

In May 2003, he was dropped from his ministerial position during a Cabinet reshuffle, along with other ministers who opposed the removal of term limits. Kategaya continued to speak out against amending the term limits provision until eventually the heavily pro-Museveni Parliament pushed the amendment through.

From the time he was dropped from the Cabinet, Kategaya returned to practice as a private lawyer with J. B. Byamugisha Advocates, a law firm based in Kampala.

In December 2004, he participated in the formation of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) an anti-Museveni coalition which went on to become the main opposition group in Uganda after the 2006 general elections.

Kategaya, however, maintained a low profile and rarely participated in FDC affairs.

Following Museveni and NRM’s win in the 2006 general elections, rumours began spreading that Kategaya was in reconciliation talks with Museveni. The rumours proved well-founded when Museveni nominated his old ally for approval by the Parliament as a Cabinet Minister.

Subsequently, he was appointed to the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs. Kategaya has been instrumental in the continued growth of the East African Community.

In the cabinet reshuffle of 27 May 2011, Kategaya maintained all his cabinet posts.


7:00pm: The latest reports indicate Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Eriya Kategaya is dead.

He passed on at Nairobi Hospital in Kenya on Saturday evening.

Details to follow shortly

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