President Museveni and the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, yesterday paid tribute to Kigezi historian and author Festo Karwemera, who died on Sunday at the age of 95.
Hon. David Bahati, the State Minister of Finance for Planning, delivered their condolence messages during a funeral service at Kigezi High School in Kabale Town yesterday.
“Mzee Karwemera will be remembered as a gallant son of Uganda who promoted the language and culture of the Bakiga by writing many books, which is a gesture of preservation of the heritage of the African people. Our Bantu dialects and other African languages are much richer than the European languages but unfortunately, most of these dialects were not written down,” the President’s message read in part.
Mr. Museveni stated that with limited writing and elders dying, he joined some linguists from Makerere University to write a thesaurus of Ruyankole-Rukiga (Katondozi).
The Vice-Chancellor of Kabale University, Prof Joy Kwesiga, promised to stock Karwemera’s books in the institution’s library for generations to benefit from his literary work.
The university awarded him an honorary doctorate of literature in 2017.
Karwemera translated the Bible and the Constitution into the Runyakore-Rukiga language.
Kabale District Coronavirus taskforce said they approved only 50 people to attend the burial as a preventive measure against the pandemic.
The Banyakigezi diaspora headed by Dr. Munini Mulera contributed Shs6m for burial expenses.
Doctors attributed Karwemera’s death to old age.
He is survived by a widow, Ms. Aidah Karwemera, five children, 25 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.