By Vision reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has said that if we allow our languages to die, we shall be destroying humanity, adding that it is a crime against humanity to allow the indigenous languages to die and that it is the reason he wrote the Runyankore – Rukiga Dictionary.
The President was speaking at ceremony to launch the Runyoro- Rutooro-English Dictionary, Katondogorozi that was authored by Mzee Lazaro Tinkasimire Rubongoya.
He noted that African languages are rich in words in comparison to English and cautioned Africans against copying foreign values. He demonstrated the richness of the African languages against English by giving and stressing several real life examples.
The ceremony that took place at the Mountains of the Moon Hotel in FortPortal town was also to mark the 90th birthday of Mr. Rubongoya. It has took 50 years to complete the dictionary. Mzee Rubongoya is a veteran broadcaster and writer of several Runyoro- Rutooro books.
Museveni was pleased to note that among the many writing works he has accomplished, Rubongoya contributed to the Katondogorozi. He commended him for his leading role in writing the dictionary.
Museveni said that Government would fund the purchase of books for the education institutions and donated Shs 30 million cash to Isaazi lya Tooro for the purpose.
He pledged a donation of Shs 60 million to Mzee Rubongoya in appreciation of his outstanding contribution to promoting the Runyoro- Rutooro language. The President pledged his continued support of the indigenous languages.
Mzee Lazaro Rubongoya saluted President Museveni for supporting the writing of the dictionary and for supporting the Tooro and Bunyoro Kingdoms. He thanked him for his love for the people of the two kingdoms. He thanked God for enabling him to attain 90 years of age.
He called on the people to use the dictionary in their homes, Schools and high institutions of learning in promoting their language. He prayed for the long life of President Museveni and that of King Oyo Nyimba Iguru Rukidi the 4th.
The Chairman of Isaazi lya Tooro, Prof. Edward Rugumayo saluted the President for honoring them by accepting the invitation to launch the Dictionary. He noted that it would help towards promoting the teaching of the Runyoro-Rutooro language.
Museveni launches Runyoro - Rutoro dictionary