Nariobi — President Mwai Kibaki has sent a message of condolence to President Yoweri Museveni and the people of Uganda following the death of Eriya Kategaya at the Nairobi Hospital.
Until his death, the late Eriya Kategaya, 67, was Uganda's first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs.
In his message, the president regretted that the passing on of Kategaya was not only a big loss to the Uganda government and his family but also a great tragedy to many people who had found a dependable friend in him.
President Kibaki said the minister's death leaves a huge vacuum within the government of Uganda and those he interacted with that will be hard to fill.
"To everyone who knew him, and had the opportunity to work and interact with him, the late Kategaya was well respected as a humble man of outstanding ability." said President Kibaki.
The Head of State noted that the late Kategaya will be remembered for his active role in Ugandan politics adding that it was due to the strength of his outstanding political charisma that he was one of the longest serving cabinet ministers in the country's political history.
Said the president, "Mr Eriya Kategaya was a longtime associate of President Yoweri Museveni starting from their school days in the early 1960s and served in various capacities as National Political Commissar for the NRM and government minister."
President Kibaki added that the late Eriya Kategaya's legacy will continue to be an inspiration to young politicians and many of others he has left behind.
"Indeed, as we pay homage to his departed soul, let us also celebrate his life, his achievements and dedicated service to his country" he added.
The president prayed that the Almighty God will give Ugandans, his family and relatives the strength to bear the loss.