Parliament Bids Farewell to Mzee Byanyima

Parliament  yesterday paid tribute to fallen former Democratic Party Chairman Mzee Boniface Byanyima who succumbed to stroke on Tuesday May 16 at Nakasero Hospital.

This was in a motion tabled by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda and seconded by the Leader of Opposition (LOP), Winnie Kiiza. The premier described the departed as a bold and principled man.

“Through his entire life Mzee Byanyima has been bold, straight forward, speaking his mind, and incorruptible; we extend our condolences to the family, friends, relatives and to the Democratic Party fraternity and the country at large,” Rugunda eulogized Byanyima.

The leader of opposition Winfred Kiiza who seconded the motion described late Mzee Byanyima as a hero who lived on truth and justice as his political party slogan.

Kiiza said the country lost one of its elders who was a pillar of political reference that would offer advice to the young politicians in the country.

Winfred Kiiza asked politicians to emulate the late and avoid ‘political prostitution’ of cross crossing political parties.

“Unlike the politics of today where people have price tags , Mzee Byanyima didn’t have a tag for his political career…. he believed in what he believed in. He remained steadfast and no amount of money and titles would change what he believed in,” Kiiza noted.

A funeral service will be held for the deceased today at St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe at 9:00 am, later his body will be transported to his country home in Ruti Mbarara for a vigil where an ecumenical service will be held on Sunday and later to be buried at 4:00pm at the same place.

Members of the bereaved family
Members of the bereaved family

Mzee Byanyima was born in 1920, is a great-grandson of Kyamufumba Kya Ndagara Rwamigano, eldest son of Omukama Ndagara, the last King of Buhweju.

Hon. Byanyima started school at Kinoni Primary school joined Mbarara High School and later won a scholarship to Kings College Budo were he excelled and later joined Makerere College attaining a Diploma in Education.

Upon graduation in 1951,  Byanyima was posted to teach at Bishop Tucker Theological College in Mukono and in 1954 pursued a post graduate diploma at Exeter University and on return he joined Mbarara High School as a teacher.

Byanyima served as a member of the Legislative Assembly representing the people of Ankole North East and as a Minister of Public service from 1961 to 1962.

In January 1956, Byanyima married Gertrude Kabwasingo, a teacher like himself. They lived together at Green Cottage Ruti for 52 years until Gertrude passed away in 2007.

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