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Byanyima laid to rest in Mbarara

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th November 2008 03:00 AM

THE wife of former DP national chairman Boniface Byanyima was buried yesterday amidst reports that she died with several scars inflicted on her by state operatives in the 1990s.

THE wife of former DP national chairman Boniface Byanyima was buried yesterday amidst reports that she died with several scars inflicted on her by state operatives in the 1990s.

By Felix Basiime

THE wife of former DP national chairman Boniface Byanyima was buried yesterday amidst reports that she died with several scars inflicted on her by state operatives in the 1990s.

Gertrude Kabwasingo, who was buried yesterday, passed away at Mulago Hospital on November 13 following a stroke. She was the National chairperson for the DP women wing up to 2005.

Boniface Byanyima made the allegations of the beating at a requiem Mass yesterday at Nyamitanga (Catholic) Cathedral in Mbarara municipality. Archbishop Paul Bakyenga led the prayers assisted by retired Bishop John Baptist Kakubi.

“My wife is going to the grave with many scars inflicted on her body,” Byanyima said, as thousands of mourners listened attentively.

Byanyima did not say exactly when his wife was beaten up and there was no independent confirmation of the incident.

But he narrated how the family lost part of their ranch in Kiruhura district and how security personnel beat up his porters and wife. He said his wife was hospitalised and the accused were arrested but the Police released them immediately following an order from “above”.

In the 1990s, the Government reclaimed unutilised ranch land and redistributed it to thousands of landless squatters. A scheme to compensate the former ranch owners was set up but many were displeased and sued the Government.

“I beg that this act of torture on my wife be put in the books of DP, hoping that time will come when DP will ask why my wife was beaten,” Byanyima, flanked by his daughter Edith Byanyima, added.

Byanyima, an Anglican, urged the Anglican Church to fight for the truth like the Catholic Church does because God is for the truth.

Byanyima stunned the mourners when he wished that it would be better if God allowed both husband and wife to die together because couples are married together in vows.

FDC party president Col. Dr Kizza Besigye, DP president John Ssebaana, Dr. Paul Ssemogerere all described Mrs. Byanyima as having lived for the values of her church and party.

She was buried in DP party colours (Green and White) wrapped around the coffin, with a UYD flag carried ahead of the coffin.

Archbishop Bakyenga said he had not seen any political flag in the Catholic Church before.

He attributed this to Gertrude's crusade for truth and justice that led her to join others in a bid to fulfil it.
Mrs Byanyima was laid to rest at Ruti, 3km on the Mbarara-Kabale road.

Dignitaries at the burial included ministers, MPs, Buganda kingdom officials, Police chief Kale Kayihura, Rwandan friends of the family and Kampala mayor Nasser Sebaggala.

Byanyima laid to rest in Mbarara

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