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Biraaro was a fierce fighter - Museveni

By Adolf Ayoreka

Added 17th February 2020 09:22 AM

Museveni said the nation will continue to mourn the passing of a man who selflessly served with utmost commitment, sacrifice and distinction.

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Army officers carrying the casket containing the body of Biraaro in Isingiro on Sunday. (Photos by Adolf Ayoreka)

Museveni said the nation will continue to mourn the passing of a man who selflessly served with utmost commitment, sacrifice and distinction.

 
MBARARA - Former presidential candidate Maj Gen Benon Biraaro was escorted to his final resting place by a 13-gun salute at his country home in Rumuri village, Masha sub-county in Isingiro district.
 
President Yoweri Museveni, in his eulogy, described him as one of the patriotic, revolutionist and incorruptible leaders Uganda has ever had.
 
Museveni said his relationship with Biraaro dates as far back as the bush war days and that he will forever be remembered as a fierce and principled man, whose actions matched his words.
 
Museveni who was represented by Minister for Security Gen. Elly Tumwine, further said in his eulogy that Biraaro knew him as a fair and balanced comrade throughout his lifetime.
 
“He never got tired in his quest to foster peace and unity. He was successful in peacebuilding because of his firm character. He built bridges of friendship and brotherhood in the whole country and wherever he went, he left indelible footprints,” Museveni eulogized.
 
He added that Maj. Gen. Biraaro’s death leaves a big vacuum that will be hard to fill. 
 

 Besigye and Muhwezi exchange greetings


"He was a pillar and a person of enormous influence. He has left behind an inspiring and enviable legacy of hard work which should be emulated by all Ugandans especially the young generation," Museveni said.
 
He said the nation will continue to mourn the passing of a man who selflessly served his nation with utmost commitment, sacrifice, and distinction.
 
Gen Wilson Mbadi, the deputy Chief of Defence Forces, who represented his boss, David Muhoozi, said Gen. Biraaro will be remembered for his great contribution towards the stability of Uganda, from the period he joined the National Resistance Army, which metamorphosed into Uganda People Defense Forces.
 
“He will forever be missed by the UPDF fraternity because he was an ardent scholar and an articulate communicator. His monumental legacy is the contribution to the due process of the establishment of the Senior Staff Commandant College in Kimaka,” Gen. Mbadi said.
 
He added that Biraaro rose through the ranks and various appointments because he worked hard.
 
“My own observation about Biraaro is that he was bold enough and remained respectful and was not arrogant,” Mbadi said.
 
Former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye who has been one of Biraaro’s longtime friends heaped more praises on the departed comrade. 
 
“What brought me here is because I and Biraaro were friends and we went through the same hardships fighting for this country, working for fairness and justice.
 
“He has been a comrade and he will forever remain a comrade. Go well and sleep well. We shall remain fighting for fairness until it is realised in our country,” Besigye said.
 
Wife demands for privileges 

Joy Biraaro, the wife to Maj. Gen Biraaro, said her husband prepared her to be a real wife to a soldier and that kept her strong even when Biraaro would be sent on foreign missions.
 
She said when her husband was still serving in the forces, they had a lot of privileges such as escorts and cars but things changed later after his retirement.
 
“When I was getting married to a serving UPDF man, I was much welcomed by the whole UPDF fraternity and a lot of privileges were given to us. But I want to tell you that in 2015, after leaving the forces, UPDF officers came home, made an operation in our house as if we were criminals. 
 
When I asked them why they were doing so, none of them responded to my question. Up to now, I have never received an answer,” she said.
 
She said Biraaro would open for himself a gate without any escorts and a guard at home until recently when Gen. David Muhoozi visited him and was also shocked. 
 
Biraaro who was born on March 1, 1958, succumbed to colon cancer on February 12, at Kampala Hospital. He is survived by a wife Joy Biraaro, with four children - one boy and three girls.
 
The burial was attended by religious leaders led by Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa of Ankole Diocese, Bishop Henry Katamba of West Buganda Diocese, and Steven Namanya of North Ankole Diocese.
 
Top army officers who attended the burial included Gen. Pecos Kutesa, Gen. Leopold Kyanda, Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, Gen. Ivan Koreta, Gen. Joram Mugume, Col. Amanya Mushega. Gen. Henry Tumukunde and Gen. James Mugira among others.
 

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