Dear mourners and fellow celebrants, all protocol observed.
I welcome you to our home and thank you all for taking the time off your busy schedules to come and commiserate with us as we bid farewell to our father, whom we call Afande.
I travelled to the United States of America last week before my father was hospitalized. I’m here to attend some official meetings but also to visit my son at the university in Houston whom I haven’t seen in almost 2 years. When I heard the news of my father’s death, I contacted Emirates Airlines to see the possibility of changing my ticket. I was told the earliest I could be in Kampala was on Sunday. I, therefore, took the decision to allow my father to be laid to rest without me. Afande is a Moslem and it would be wrong and selfish of me to keep his body for almost 5 days waiting for my arrival. As you can imagine, this is the most difficult and painful decision I have ever made in my entire life.
Commander Ahmed Kashillingi, RO 40 was born on 1st January 1949 in this village. He died at 73 with only 2 months to make 74 years. He is survived by many children, possibly 100 plus. Just a few of them are present and I would like all his children to stand up and come up here. He is also survived by an almost equal number of grandchildren.
I would like in a special way to thank H. E the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for the support he has always given to Afande…….I think a few of us will appreciate this. I know it and I commend him.
I would also like to thank Gen Saleh and his wife Jovia for always being there for Afande whatever the odds.
I cannot forget Afande’s first family, the NRA/ UPDF. I particularly want to thank the army leadership for according Afande a full military burial. Afande was a soldier and nothing else. It is therefore gratifying to see his comrades in arms here to give him this befitting send-off.
I also would like to single out Gen Henry Tumukunde for mobilizing his colleagues to come and bid their fellow Senior Officers a final goodbye.
Please forgive me for not singling out every individual who has been helpful in many of Afande’s life struggles. But as a family, I would like you to know that we appreciate you and we are eternally grateful for your love and comradeship.
Afande has lived a rather very difficult life. Difficult because of the choices he made but also due to some occupational hazards. Men do face difficulties in their life’s journey ….some come out of them and triumph while some never seem to recover. I think from the time he run into exile in 1990 and his subsequent kidnapping from Beni in DR Congo, his trial for treason which he never committed and his eventual acquittal, Afande never fully recovered. I think he failed to come to terms with his situation or his new status of being a senior commander to a subordinate of those he formally commanded. But as we say, that’s life and that’s all behind him now.
In short, Afande has rested and may God grant him eternal rest.
To my siblings, your father is gone. He is no longer with us. So we have a choice to make. We will remain together as a family and children of Afande, or we will tear down everything that makes us family and each to their own. It is upon us to choose what we want to be and how we want to be that. I urge you to remain disciplined and remember that the umbilical cord that unites us is much stronger than the artificial issues and challenges we face. Together we will remain a family. I will remind you that those who are disciplined will win or overcome life’s challenges. I hate indiscipline in its every form. I will hold anyone’s hand should he or she make a choice to be disciplined.
Once again, I thank all the people gathered here for coming to be with us in this rather difficult time. May God reward you and bless your journeys back to your homes.
To my father, I looked after you the best way I could. I was building you a house you have not slept in while alive. At your father’s funeral, you asked me to complete the house because you wanted to retire from the government and come home for good in October. Little did I know this is how you’d finally come home to rest this November. For everything that I didn’t do well as a son, forgive me. I also would like you to know I have forgiven you for everything that you failed to do as a father. I always still looked after you as a son would a father. For that, God will be my witness.
Fare thee well soldier! You’ll forever be a hero in many people’s hearts. You fought many battles. You won many, you’ve lost this one because God needs you elsewhere.
Orare gye Afande.
Hussein Kashillingi is a lawyer and the son of the deceased.
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