President Yoweri Museveni has paid great tribute to the late Arphaxad Charles Kole Oboth-Ofumbi, whom he described as a freedom fighter and an early Ugandan elite who lost his life at the hands of the short-sighted dictatorial and barbaric regime of Idi Amin.
The President was speaking during a memorial service organized in honour of the late Oboth-Ofumbi a former Internal Affairs Minister, at his ancestral home in Nyamalogo, Mulanda in Tororo district today.
The late Oboth-Ofumbi was murdered by security forces of the government of President Idi Amin together with Erinayo Wilson Oryema Uganda’s first African Inspector General of Police and Archbishop Janani Luwum on allegations of treason in February 1977.
The President said that although he did not personally work with the late Oboth-Ofumbi, he had learnt of his firm stand against the Amin dictatorship and his support for the establishment of the rule of law through his cabinet colleague Professor Edward Rugumayo.
He said that when he met Professor Rugumayo who was a minister at the time in 1972 to discuss the anti-Amin struggle, he mentioned Oboth Ofumbi as one of the people in government who were working internally with him to get rid of the Amin dictatorship.
The President described the late Oboth-Ofumbi as a hero who died for the truth aimed at national salvation.
He noted that his killers gained nothing since the struggle was finally fought and the dictatorship overthrown.
“Killers are short-sighted. Amin murdered Oboth-Ofumbi and others but Amin, Maliyamungu and Butabika who presided over all those murders are all long dead. However, Oboth-Ofumbi is remembered with fondness while Amin and his killers are cursed. Dying for the truth is not dying. Oboth-Ofumbi is alive in our memories but his killers are dead both physically and in our memories,” he said.
President Museveni said you can differentiate between a bad government and a good one under the National Resistance Movement where you can never hear cases like that of Ofumbi.
“Those who are against poverty and development should be against bad governments. Look at what Oboth-Ofumbi had accomplished in the early 1970’s and imagine what he would have accomplished if his life was not cut short” he said.
He urged people to always support families that lose family heads when the children are young and not to take advantage of situations to take family property.
He commended Mrs. Elizabeth Ofumbi widow for taking care of the children and giving them the quality education they deserved. He pledged to support the family to rebuild their home and settle peacefully.
Godfrey Ofumbi and Namuli Ofumbi children of the late Ofumbi described their father as a kind God-fearing man who built the Church at their home even before building the family home.
They also noted that the memorial service is a gift from God rewarding him for the trust he had in Him.
“He believed in working to make the world better than he found it and liked fairness and exercised it,” they said.
They commended President Museveni for ushering in a new chapter of peace and security that has enabled many Ugandans come back from exile to contribute to the development of their country.
Hon. Henry Kyemba, a former Minister of Health and a close friend to Oboth-Ofumbi described the Amin era as “Days of great uncertainty where a person had no guarantee to live the next day”.
He said that many Ugandans paid a heavy price due to bad governance and said that he personally took time to document these brutal murders for the future generations to learn from.