Omugurusi Festo Karwemera, the fallen icon of the Runyankole-Rukiga local language; author and translator is set to be laid to rest tomorrow Tuesday.
Karwemera passed away yesterday morning aged 95.
Doctors said his organs failed partly because of old age.
His daughter Robina Tugume says Karwemera will be buried at his ancestral home in Bugarama, in Buhara sub county Kabale district.
In his will, Karwemera had asked not to be buried in a built grave.
He will be remembered for his passion to promote the Runyankore-Rukiga languages.
He appeared on numerous public functions and media programs teaching the language and authored 17 books in Runyankore-Rukiga language that include the popular Katodozi (Dictionary) which he co-authored with President Yoweri Museveni.
He was also involved in translating the Holy Bible and the constitution of Uganda in the local language.
Because of his works, Kabale University on June 24 2017 awarded him an honorary doctorate of literature.
He is survived by a wife Aidah Karwemera, 5 children, 25 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said Kigezi, Uganda and Africa had lost a legend “who lived an exemplary life as a teacher, public servant, researcher, author and custodian of our rich cultural heritage.”
“We celebrate his life and contribution and thank God for giving him a long and impactful life”. Dr Rugunda said.
Canon Eng. Ivan Mbabazi Batuma said Kigezi had lost an important part in Karwemera.
“Before starting voice of Kigezi FM radio in Kabale in January 2000, I approached the deceased and he accepted to volunteer in mentoring the radio presenters on effective communication in local language because the radio was designed to serve the Kigezi community in local language. We worked with him for 10 years and was very instrumental in radio programs and talk shows. We shall miss his guidance. May God rest his soul in peace” Canon Mbabazi Batuma said.
Grace Mutebile The chairperson of the International Community of Banyakigezi Uganda chapter described the deceased as an Encyclopaedia for Kigezi culture, values and norms.