NATIONAL: On January 8, 2023, the grim reaper robbed Busoga sub-region of one of its most noble sons who has greatly contributed to the education sector in Busoga.
Elisha Watson Katagaya, who many fondly called Elder Ndiwalana, succumbed to a long illness aged 74 and was buried at his ancestral home at Iwawu, Iganga district, but his name will live on for many years to come, thanks to his heart of gold and incorruptible character.
Speaker after speaker eulogized Ndiwalana as an incorruptible educationist, a trait that is hard to find among 21st century elites.
“His name was never mentioned in any corruption scandal. He was a strong willed individual who greatly contributed to the struggle to liberate this country,” President Yoweri Museveni said in a eulogy delivered for him by the Minister for Presidency Milly Babalanda.
President Museveni commended Ndiwalana, who was also a Dar-Es-Salaam University alumni, for laying a strong foundation for education in Busoga sub-region and the country, citing his immense contribution to the take-over of Busoga University by the government.
The President who contributed shs20 million towards the burial expenses of the deceased towering educationist lauded Ndiwalana for serving diligently on several school management committees.
Minister Babalanda, who doubles as the Seventh Day Adventist Women leader, on her part condoled with the family upon the loss of a father and husband.
She revealed to the mourners gathered at Iganga Secondary School playground that ministers from Busoga led by the 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Rebecca Kadaga, raised the issue of Ndiwalana’s deteriorating health in Cabinet hence capturing the attention of the President.
“We raised the issue in Cabinet and it attracted the attention of President Museveni thanks to the deceased’s great deeds,” minister Babalanda said.
The Minister of State for Cooperatives and Member of Parliament for Bulamogi North West, Frederick Ngobi Gume, a former student of the deceased, eulogized his fallen teacher as a great pan Africanist who loved Busoga and the country.
“He was a devoted, committed and strict disciplinarian who wanted his students to do the right thing,” minister Gume said.
Bugweri district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) who represented the Old Boys of Busoga College Mwiri urged mourners to emulate Ndiwalana’s exceptional works.
“If he found you moving on the compound without touching in, he would help you touch in. We nick-named him Sahara because of his bald head. I am not sure whether he liked that particular nickname but he tolerated it,” Kirenda said.
Iganga district chairperson Ezra Gabula commended the deceased for being principled and incorruptible.
“I was almost thrown out of council over academic documents. Somebody at Busoga University had hidden them but he (Ndiwalana) went and rummaged through the files and found them and he is the reason why I am here,” Gabula said.
Luuka district chairperson Simon Wakaze described the deceased as a towering intellectual yet so humble and calm.
“I particularly admired his wise counsel, mastery of the English language and admirable leadership skills. He will remain an embodiment of intellectualism laced with humility,” Wakaze said.
The deceased’s widow Gertrude Ndiwalana eulogized her husband as incorruptible and a caring husband and father.
“I thank God for giving me the opportunity to marry a Mwirian. My husband was gentle and gave me all the time to serve God,” Mrs Ndiwalana said.
Ndiwalana is survived by a widow, Gertrude Ndiwalana and 10 children.
Who is Ndiwalana?
Ndiwalana was born on February 2, 1948. He attended Iganga Junior School before proceeding to Busoga College Mwiri for his O’ and A’ level education. In 1972, he joined Dar-er-Salaam University for a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree. He later enrolled at Makerere University for a Masters in Education graduating in 1991.
He has taught in several schools, including Manjasi High School, Busoga College Mwiri, Iganga High School, Kaliro National Teachers’ College where he served as Deputy Principal and Busoga University where he served at Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Ndiwalana has also served as chairperson Board of Governors of Buckley High School, Bishop Willis Demonstration School, Iganga Secondary School, Kaliro PTC, Busei SDA, Kiira College Butiiki and Busoga College Mwiri, among others.
Ndiwalana has also been a devoted man of God and has been serving as Church Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.