Rukiga-Thousands of mourners including Ministers, MPs, delegations from Rwanda, South Sudan and beyond, Members of the Central Executive Committee of the ruling National Resistance Movement, business associates, bankers, leaders of different religious faiths and friends turned up to pay their last respects to fallen business man-Apollo Nyegamahe (APONYE) who was laid to rest today at his country home in Muhanga, Rukiga District.
President Museveni was represented by Vice President Jessica Alupo. In his remarks, the President expressed deep concern on the rising cases of accidents and has directed the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka to present to Cabinet on Monday, proposals on how to mitigate these accidents.
“Much as there is a law to mitigate road accidents (Road Act 2019), the country has continued to register increased accidents on the road. That Act might not be sufficient enough”, said Vice President Alupo, quoting from the President’s guidance. “The President has directed that the Attorney General -Kiryowa Kiwanuka presents to cabinet proppsed guidelines to improve the implementation [of the Act], especially section 58 of the Road Act 2019 with a view to make it stronger or fill the gaps”, she said.
“He has further guided him to commence the process to amend the Road Act 2019 in order to mitigate the road carnage, because in spite of the provisions like towing away of a broken-down vehicle in two (2 hours) visible road signs (to alert other road users), use of efficient and effective reflectors, still, we continue registering such accidents, hence, the directives to the Attorney General”, Alupo stressed.
The President expressed his deep condolences to a family man and great supporter of the NRM. “The late Apollo Nyegamehe was a big supporter of the
NRM and an active actor in the economy. He will be remembered for his business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit, which enabled him to create wealth and jobs, for many people. I urge, especially the Bazukulu, to emulate his example of exploiting the prevailing favourable conditions of peace, stability, good infrastructure, etc., to create wealth and jobs.
He contributed UGX10m to the funeral arrangements.
In her remarks, the Vice President paid tribute to the deceased for being a committed Christian, and a kind person who contributed to the church.
Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa preached the gospel of hard work such that societies are grown and nurtured.
Tayebwa praised the spirit with which the late Aponye helped fellow traders and other upcoming business people in different places. The Deputy Speaker said Aponye was a committed prayer warrior. He recounted an incident once, when they were aboard the skies and with all the turbulence, Apollo cried to the Lord “Please don’t take me before my children complete school”.
“I’m glad that all his children have completed school”, Tayebwa said.
Tayebwa rallied men to return to prayerful ways and also participate in the Parish Development Model. He thanked the NRM Government for creating an environment where businesses can thrive.
The Day’s preacher-Msgr Sunday Vianney said while funerals are not meant to declare saints, Aponye was a man of God, he loved God, he served God, and he supported the dwelling places of God. There are people who are rich but don’t give the church, Apollo gave the church generously” adding that the best life one can live is the life of God. “That’s why we celebrate the gift that Nyegamahe was. He was a humble man”, he added.
The deceased’s wife Vangi said they had lived together for 45 years, raising a family without difficulties. She decried social media trends where no one respects the dead anymore. “Please use social media constructively. What my family has gone through has been terrible, let’s re-think how we use it, said the widow”, referring to the various platforms and users who shared pictures of the grisly scene.
She gave a moving testimony of a life that started from scratch.”We had nothing but love and respect. He looked after me, and when we completed building God’s place, he rewarded me with a Holy trip to Jerusalem. This deepened my faith in God”. The children eulogized their dad, praising him for educating and providing for them. He leaves 12 children behind.
Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda thanked Aponye for mentor-ship through uplifting societies. “His personality and commitment was to uplift others. He helped Government by turning maize into a significant commodity for export thus increasing our country’s export earnings. “He has made a significant contribution to this country and we must therefore applaud this”, Rugunda said.
His long term friend William Kanagizi spoke fondly of a man whose humility was the firm foundation of his business acumen.
Robert Mwanje,Chairman of the Grain Council said Apollo was one of the founding members of the council. He said Aponye had since mentored his daughter to take on similar roles and responsibilities.
Mbabazi Robert the LC 5- Rukiga district, said Aponye was the root and foundation of development in Rukiga and a pillar of the NRM party. “Rukiga was previously predominantly opposition but with the efforts of Apollo, NRM has gathered 97% over time.”
The siblings of the deceased thanked God that Apollo allowed God to use him saying he built churches and contributed to the development of other religious institutions
Later in the afternoon, the coffin of the late Apollo Nyegamahe, draped in the NRM colours was laid down, with the Christian hymns accompanying to rest, a man who spent his years building a legacy, and sharing his life’s privilege in service of his community and his country