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Thousands mourn deceased sports scribes in Kampala

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th August 2001 03:00 AM

TEARS flowed freely at the funeral ceremony of Kenneth Matovu, the New Vision top sports journalist. Kenneth was laid to rest yesterday afternoon at the family ancestral home at Kitatya in Kayunga district.

TEARS flowed freely at the funeral ceremony of Kenneth Matovu, the New Vision top sports journalist. Kenneth was laid to rest yesterday afternoon at the family ancestral home at Kitatya in Kayunga district.

By Patrick Luganda AND GEOFFREY KAMALI TEARS flowed freely at the funeral ceremony of Kenneth Matovu, the New Vision top sports journalist. Kenneth was laid to rest yesterday afternoon at the family ancestral home at Kitatya in Kayunga district. Joseph Kabuleta a close confidant openly wept at All Saints Cathedral and was joined by hundreds of mourners in a state of emotional outpouring for the fallen sports writer. Matovu, together with two senior sports reporters, Simon Peter Ekarot and Leo Kabunga died instantly in a horrendous accident near Lugazi on the Jinja-Kampala highway on Tuesday. A fourth colleague Francis Batte Junior Assistant Sports Editor at the Monitor also died in the crash. Batte was laid to rest at the family ancestral home at Seguku in Wakiso district. Simon Ekarot will be buried in Busia this afternoon while Leo Kabunga will also be laid to rest this afternoon at the family home in Kigarama, Kabwohe Bushenyi District. The demise of the four brilliant journalists hit the media fraternity like a thunderbolt. The deaths leave a gaping hole in the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) executive. All of them were members of the ruling executive committee. At Our Lady Mbuya Church where the memorial service for Ekarot, Kabunga and Batte was jointly conducted, Mark Ssali of the Monitor was overwhelmed by grief and failed to complete eulogies for the departed comrades. State minister for Sports Henry Okello Oryem said that death had robbed him of allies in solving the endless wrangles in the several sports associations in the country. “Unlike the other sports associations USPA does not entertain wrangles in its ranks. These beautiful handsome young men have been leaders in promoting the debate about sports in Uganda. This is a wastage of life to family and the nation,” said Oryem. Sports and media organisations yesterday paid tribute to the four sports writers. A group of journalists attending the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum in Jinja, said they were saddened by the demise of the reporters “with promising careers in our generation.” The journalists are from Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Other messages of sympathy came Hope Kivengere, the Press Secretary to President Yoweri Museveni, Civil Aviation Authority, Radio Rhino and the UPDF among others. There were also messages from Ugandan journalists, some of whom are on study courses abroad. They include Hellen Mukiibi, New Vision’s deputy news editor, currently in South Africa, George Lugalambi in USA, Okello Jabweli in Canada, Kevin Aliro in Scotland, Frank Mubiru in London, William Tayebwa and Carol Azungi in Oslo, Norway. Sports bodies like Uganda Amateur Athletic Association, Uganda Cycling Association, Uganda Golf Union and Uganda Volleyball Federation described the quartet’s death as a blow to the country. Ends

Thousands mourn deceased sports scribes in Kampala

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