The family of Late Col Patrick Karegeya has been called upon to forgive whoever they believe might have caused his death in South Africa, where he will be buried on Saturday.
Patrick Karegeya, 53 was found dead in Johannesburg’s plush Sandton Michelangelo Hotel on New Year’s Eve in circumstances that preliminary investigations point to murder.
According to sources privy to investigations, the Rwandese émigré might have been strangled, with a rope and bloodied towel found in the hotel room safe.
Karegeya fled Rwanda after he was arrested and held for 18 months in detention on charges of insubordination and indiscipline.
The funeral was attended by Col. Karegeya’s 80 year old mother Jane Kanimba.
Speaking in a mixture of Runyakitara and English at the funeral on Tuesday, Rev. Moses Isabirye wondered how people can fear a body without breath.
Rev. Isabirye was referring to the refusal by Government to allow the former National Resistance Army (NRA), fighter’s body to be brought home for burial.
Reverend Isabirye said that Col. Karegeya’s death had caused him untold pain.
Col. Karegeya was born in Ntungamo, Uganda to John and Jane Kanimba and was one of 12 children.
At the funeral attended by among others Justice Kenneth Kakuru, Justice Richard Buteera, Prof. Oloka Onyango, former Director General Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Henry Tumukunde, Reverend Isabirye called on people to realise that they are just breath.
Reverend Isabirye did not spare Col. Karegeya’s killers. He drew on the analogy of a herdsman that found a skull in burnt bush and wondered whether he would one day be like and the skull replied saying he would be like it and that is very soon.
Reverend Isabirye told Col. Karegeya’s killers that their time for reckoning is not far off amidst applause from the sombre congregation. He said people may have soldiers all around themselves to appear strong, but ‘It will not be long.’
Reading from Matthew 27: 45, where Jesus asked why God had forsaken him, Reverend Isabirye wondered what Col. Karegeya could have said as he was met with a similar situation.
Isabirye urged the congregation not to be downhearted because of what was currently happening in Uganda. He said brothers are killing fellow brothers, Dinkas killing Dinkas and Luo killing Kikuyu. He addressed this message to Karegeya’s immediate family, Leah his wife and their three children.
He urged the congregation to return to God, so that he can do something in Uganda and Rwanda.
He called upon the family not to curse Col. Karegeya’s killers.
Justice Kenneth Kakuru eulogised Col. Karegeya as a simple principled man, a former brave freedom fighter in NRA, who went to Rwanda against his will.
Justice Kakuru said that it was the attitude that he would die anyway that made Col. Karegeya move freely.
He said though he always carried a pistol back in the days be he never fired a shot and was not corrupt and never owned a car.
A speech was read on behalf of Karegeya’s family. The speech was read by Rosette Rugasira, wife to Andrew Rugasira the properietor of Good African Coffee. In the speech Karegeya was described as a loving, caring and good husband.
Karegeya’s wife’s speech was read on her behalf by Tracy Kakuru and caused several murmurs. An emotional Leah described her husband as a fighter for justice who felt betrayed by the situation in Rwanda. She said, “May the blood of my husband be as sheets to those who took his life. May his death always be present in the minds of their children. May his blood cause them a nightmare at breakfast, lunch and supper.”