President Museveni has hailed his former senior advisor on cultural affairs, George Kajuga for promoting culture and his contribution during the writing of Katondoozi, the Runyankore dictionary.
In his condolence message read by Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, Mr Museveni described the late Kajuga as a hardworking patriot who promoted his culture and mobilised support for National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
"Mzee Kajuga was an honest and hardworking patriot, mentor, and solid guide to very many people especially the youth. He loved his country and was a good patriot. He was also an initiator of a very strong group of NRM mobilisers called Nyekundiire Movement, which spread to all parts of Uganda," Museveni said in a letter read to mourners at the burial of Kajuga at his home in Ishaka division, Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality on Friday.
He noted that Mzee Kajuga was knowledgeable about the culture, tradition, and the language of the Banyankore, the reason he (Museveni) picked him for guidance while writing Katondoozi.
"Because he was very knowledgeable about the culture, he is the one who told me about the Abaheesi clan. So, when I started writing Katondoozi, the first person that I looked for and kept helping me was Mzee Kajuga. I wanted to get someone who could help me with rich Runyakitaara words for education and preservation purposes. Mzee Kajuga was resourceful and I wanted to document this culture by getting it from elders like him," Mr Museveni said.
He added: "Though we are here mourning, still we celebrate Kajuga's great works. He added value to the lives of our people and also to the fact that he was able to pass the knowledge on. He has left a great monument."
Former minister, Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere said Kajuga was a strong patriot and was rich with advocacy skills.
"In 1996 after losing an election, Mzee Kajuga advocated for me in front of President Museveni, and I was sorted. I think I would have won the 2016 election if Kajuga was involved in my campaigns," he said.
Mzee Kajuga died aged 96, on Wednesday morning following a long time battle with multiple ailments including blood pressure and kidney failure according to Ms Barbara Akampwera, his granddaughter.
Ms Akampwera described his grandfather as a disciplinarian and prayerful parent.
"We lost our parents when we were still young, but he brought us up well. He was instrumental in instilling a prayer culture into us. We would pray for our family all the time. We also learnt a lot from his folk tales and proverbs. He taught us how to be happy, and patient," she said.
One Kanyaruju, Mzee Kajuga's younger brother eulogised him as a hero, who remained steadfast even after losing almost all his children.