By Daniel Kazungu
TRIBUTE | CELEBRATING | LIFE
President Yoweri Museveni joined hundreds of mourners to pay tribute to Busoga region’s towering educationist Elisha Watson Katagaya Ndiwalana aka Elder Ndiwalana, who died on January 8, aged 74.
In his eulogy, read by the Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda, Museveni condoled with the family and people of Busoga upon the loss of Ndiwalana, to whom he referred as a great National Resistance Movement cadre.
He was my alumni at Dar-es-Salaam University and supported the struggle to liberate this country,” the President said.
He also lauded the deceased for serving diligently on several school management committees and laying a strong foundation for Busoga University.
His name was never mentioned in any corruption scandal. This is a trait that should be emulated,” President Museveni said.
He contributed sh20m towards the burial expenses. Babalanda, who is also the Seventh Day Adventist Women leader, condoled with the family upon the loss of a father and husband.
She said as Ndiwalana’s health deteriorated, ministers from Busoga, led by the 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Rebecca Kadaga, raised the issue in Cabinet hence capturing the attention of the President.
“We raised the issue in Cabinet, through our mother Alitwala Kadaga. So, you can imagine Ndiwalana’s state captured the attention of the President and this is because of his good deeds,” Babalanda said.
The Minister of State for Cooperatives and Member of Parliament for Bulamogi North West, Frederick Ngobi Gume, a former student of the Ndiwalana eulogised him as a great pan-Africanist, who loved Busoga, Uganda and served diligently.
“He was a devoted and committed man, who wanted us to study. He was also a strict disciplinarian, who always wanted his students to do the right thing,” Gume said.
Bugweri district Chief Administrative Officer Nelson Kirenda, who represented former students of Busoga College Mwiri urged mourners to emulate Ndiwalana’s exceptional work.
“If he found one walking around the compound with their shirt hanging out, he would tuck it in for them. We nick-named him Sahara because of his bald head. I am not sure whether he liked that particular nickname, but he tolerated it,” Kirenda said.
Iganga district chairperson Ezra Gabula commended Ndiwalana for being principled and incorruptible.
“I was almost thrown out of council over academic documents. Somebody at Busoga University had hidden them, but he (Ndiwalana) went and rummaged into the files, found them and he is the reason why I am here,” Gabula said.
Luuka district chairperson Simon Wakaze described the deceased as a towering intellectual, yet humble and calm.
“I particularly admired his wise counsel, mastery of the English language and admirable leadership skills. He will remain an embodiment of intellectualism laced with humility,” Wakaze said.
The d widow Gertrude Ndiwalana eulogised her husband as an incorruptible man, a caring husband and father.
“I thank God for allowing me to marry a Mwirian. My husband was gentle and has given me all the time to serve God,” Mrs Ndiwalana said. Ndiwalana is survived by a widow and 10 children.
Ndiwalana attended Iganga Junior School before joining Busoga College Mwiri for his secondary education.
In 1972, he joined Dar-Er-Salaam University for a bachelor of arts in education degree.
He graduated with a master’s in education from Makerere University in 1991.
He taught in several schools, including Manjasi High School, Busoga College Mwiri, Iganga High School, Kaliro National Teachers’ College, where he served as deputy principal and Busoga University, where he was deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Ndiwalana served as chairperson Board of Governors of Buckley High School, Bishop Willis Demonstration School, Iganga Secondary School, Kaliro PTC, Busei SDA, Kiira College Butiiki and Busoga College Mwiri, among others.
He was a Church Elder in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.