Veteran politician Yona Kanyomozi passes away at 82

Veteran Uganda People's Congress (UPC) politician Yona Kanyomozi is dead.

Yona Kanyomozi

Kanyomozi died on Sunday at Nakasero hospital, Kampala, aged 82. He was known to be a public servant to the core having previously served as minister, member of parliament, activist, and technocrat. He served as minister of Cooperatives and Marketing, Bushenyi South MP during the Obote II regime in the 1980s, Kajara County representatives in the National Resistance Council (NRC) from 1989 to 1996, and other positions.

Between 2001 and 2006, he represented Uganda at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Besides his political life, Kanyomozi served as an economic advisor in the then Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) from 1966 to 1970, director of Industrial Development Center Uganda from 1970 to 1972, assistant general manager of the East African External Telecommunications Company from 1972 to 1977, associate consultant Price Waterhouse and other positions.

In an interview with local media in December 2020, prior to the 2021 general election, he said that the biggest opposition party, National Unity Platform (NUP), under Robert Kyagulanyi, could not dislodge the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party from its perch without bloodshed.

Kanyomozi believed that a spontaneous, popular uprising was the only hope for regime change but it would result in many casualties. This, he believed, might be too high a price to pay and an exercise in futility.

In this vein, he revealed that the 1981 to 1986 liberation war that brought the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) to power also cost countless lives. By some estimates, five hundred thousand lives were said to have been lost in that war, yet the NRM has become a replica of the dictatorial regimes it replaced.

Kanyomozi was eulogised by many who knew him as forthright, fearless and a fervent patriot who was also flexible enough to engage political adversaries in pursuit of common ground.

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