Masaka Municipality leaders have now given up the fight over the burial of veteran politician John Tebyasa Matovu who died on Sunday, December 31. The 83-year-old ex-Masaka Mayor will be buried on Friday in Kampala, as par the communication by one section of his now divided family.
The 83-year-old ex-Masaka Mayor will be buried on Friday in Kampala, as par the communication by one section of his now divided family.
At the time of his death Matovu, a longtime DP politician had been taken to his Lungujja home in Kampala by his elder children and his former wife, Nalongo Gertrude Matovu.
One of his sons, Dr Joseph Wasswa Matovu, took him to Kampala for medical attention after he was declared of unsound mind in 2009, something that made him to step down as mayor.
Information obtained from his family in Kalisizo in Kyotera district indicates that Matovu had declared in his Will that he would be buried at his ancestral home in Kalisizo.
But his Kampala based family led by his eldest son Dr Wasswa had another Will which declared that he preferred his burial at his Namasuba Estate but because of the dispute over this asset, they resolved that he be buried at Lungujja in Kampala.
Other children from his second wife, Adronia Nyindombi, accuse Dr Wasswa of keeping them out of the burial programme. They also claim that they have not been able to see the body of their father since his death five days ago.
Today, Masaka Municipality convened a special council sitting to honour Matovu's contribution. A requiem mass was also held at Blessed Sacrament Kimanya Catholic Church without his body.
Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Mayor says they gave up on fight for return of the body of veteran politician after the family disregarded them. He says they tried to persuade the Kampala family to return the body to Masaka but they refused.
Kayemba says nevertheless a special council and a requiem mass were conducted in his honour. He says Tebyasa Matovu was one of the anti-corruption crusaders in Masaka. He also says he was instrument in the procurement of a four storied building from Bank Baroda which boosted the local revenue for the municipality as well as provision of office space for both Katwe-Butego division and Masaka Municipality.
Dr Wasswa says there is no reason to return his father's body in Masaka. He says they could not take it to Kalisizo because he preferred burial in Kampala.
Dr Wasswa says they held another requiem mass at Rubaga Cathedral today and the burial will be tomorrow at Lungujja.
During the requiem mass at Rubaga, Uganda Radio Network understands that a group of muscular youths manned the church to prevent any likely outbreak of violence.
John Tebyasa Matovu served as Masaka Mayor between 1996 and 2009 when he stepped down. He had previously served as a deputy mayor for eight years.
He is one of the biggest property owners in Masaka region. He owns most of the buildings in Kalisizo town council and huge chunks of land in Kyotera district.