PASSING ON OF STATESMAN – TRIBUTE TO YOWASI MAKAARU
By Mesharch Katusiimeh
Yowasi Makaaru, the former Greater Bushenyi Chairman died on Monday January 31, 2022 at his home in Mikyerere, Sheema Municipality.
He also served as a Senior Presidential Advisor (Political Affairs) by the time of his death. Makaaru served in the capacity of the district chairman for more than 15 years and is remembered for putting up a state of art of the Bushenyi District Headquarters building during his tenure that has remained outstanding countrywide.
The administration block building was largely financed through the locally generated revenue including graduated personal tax. This was at the peak of the decentralization policy when real political, financial and administrative power had been devolved to local governments.
Bushenyi District that also comprised of the present Rubirizi, Sheema, Mitooma and Buhweju districts was regarded as a model district in Uganda. Makaaru was also a Lay Canon in West Ankole Diocese.
Mzee Makaaru mobilized the start of so many development projects including Kabwohe Secondary School in 1966 that was renamed Nganwa High School in the 1980s that shaped many influential personalities like Hon Thomas Tayebwa Government Chief Whip, Hon Dickson Kateshumbwa MP Sheema Municipality, Mr. Winston Katushabe Commissioner Ministry of Works, Prof Maud Kamatenesi Vice Chancellor Bishop Stuart University; Colonel Grace Kyomugisha among many others.
In 2003, he was one of the pioneer mobilisers of Ankole Western University Project – a great influencer of development in Sheema. Central Ankole Diocese (CAD) is offing to be based at Kabwohe Hill largely because of the leadership of Yowaasi Makaaru.
Mzee Makaaru immeasurable contributions generally spanned many decades and inspired millions of Ugandans. In the passing of Yowasi Makaaru, we are all deprived of his leadership, great passion, determination and energy towards serving our country.
Even in death, Mzee Makaaru stands tall among the patriots of this country. His service to Uganda was characterized by utmost integrity, rare zeal and commitment to duty and passion.
Unlike other public officers who use the influence of their offices to accumulate wealth primitively by swindling tax payer’s money, Yowasi Makaaru was not corrupt. He also spent most of his time propping up community and public projects not personal business enterprises.
Many of us who had an opportunity to know him will forever remember him as a person whose life is worthy emulating, a mentor and leader who pursued ideals he believed in.
I recall with nostalgia my many interactions with Mzee Yowaasi Makaaru over the years. As an elder and friend, Mzee Makaaru always had a word of wisdom and encouragement for me. Mzee Makaaru exhibited exemplary zeal to succeed and as he exits from this world, he leaves behind a rich legacy of success.
People from all walks of life often called upon Yowasi Makaaru for counsel, guidance, and assistance. No matter how busy his schedule, or important his state duties were, he answered. We were privileged to be represented by a leader with both a pure heart and an unshakable commitment to development.
He cared so much about community. As we persevere to develop our country, we should honor his legacy by continuing to selflessly work for community. His leadership and legacy of development will live for generations to come. Definitely, Makaaru’s achievements were not efforts of a single individual rather a collective effort but he was a leader of his generation and generations that came after.
In watching and closely following the career of Yowasi Makaaru, I see duty, I see responsibility. I see the burdens the government and public officers bear in securing the safety and well-being of citizens of a country. I see; courtesy of Makaaru—that assuming responsibilities for the lives, fortunes and the happiness of other people is not a walk in the park. To be appointed to any of the offices is an honor and a trust. Duty, honor and courage is what society calls on you during the tenure of the appointment.
As the saying goes, tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. He and his generation prepared for a tomorrow which some of them never lived to enjoy. It is some of us that are the beneficiaries. What are we doing for the tomorrow of future generations? I pray for his family, and all who loved and were impacted by the life of statesman Yowasi Makaaru.
The writer is Associate Professor in Governance & Dean Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Kabale University; Chair Board of Governors Nganwa High School; Former Vice Chancellor Ankole Western University, Sheema District.
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