THE family of the UPDF and myself received the news of the untimely demise of comrade Brigadier Noble Mayombo as a monumental loss, not only to our institutions but to our mother, Uganda.
What we went through in the last week with him, the number of doctors that teamed up to save his life, the people who turned up at the various hospitals to see him, to wish him well, to pray for him, was an indication that the UPDF was not alone in what is clearly our hour of darkness.
To us, the departed comrade will always be remembered for his many qualities which, as CDF, I would benchmark as very professional, academically accomplished, politically developed, a freedom fighter and a distinguished man in several aspects.
Comrade Mayombo represented a special group of young people, put together by the President and the Commander-in-Chief, nurtured and mentored for a special assignment: one of dedication to our country. It was a painstakingly recruited and trained team, being as they were among the brightest and the best our country could offer and the UPDF could boast of.
Mayombo was an officer of outstanding leadership, a young man, in brain and deeds older than his age, capable of meeting the local and international challenges. To his deploying authorities, he was never found wanting.
Mayombo was a gallant soldier whose dedicated service has been cut short when he was still working, planning for the best for the UPDF and the nation.
As we mourn his death, we should also celebrate his accomplishments and build on what he has left.
We pray that God grant the bereaved family, the UPDF and the country the fortitude and courage to stand firm, with faith and hope, to say: May his soul rest in eternal peace. Goodbye, Comrade Noble Mayombo!â€
Gen. Aronda Nyakairima
Chief of Defence Forces UPDF
â€œWe are horrified and devastated. But we will continue to be inspired by his strength, vitality, honesty and love for his family and his country. His family and his large number of friends will always love and treasure him.â€
Philli Winyi, brother
â€œToday, I have lost a great friend. The New Vision has lost a great chairman. Uganda has lost a precious asset. For his family, I am speechlessâ€¦ We shall miss Brig. Noble Mayombo, his contagious smile, his spontaneous sense of humour, his sincere laughter. He will forever live in the hearts of those he leaves behind. Unfortunately, death is a penalty we all must pay for the privilege of life. May his soul rest in eternal peace.â€
Patrick Bitature, CEO Simba Telecom, chairman Uganda Investment Authority and board member of The New Vision
'Bye, comrade' - Army chief, Aronda