KAMPALA: Ugandan Interior Minister Aronda Nyakairima died of heart attack Friday night in Dubai while traveling from South Korea, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, chief of the defense forces, told Xinhua by telephone Saturday.
“I am saddened with the death of Gen. Aronda. He passed away while on transit. We are in a meeting to discuss how to bring his body to Uganda,” Gen. Wamala said.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo confirmed Gen. Nyakairima, who was also the former chief of the defense forces from 20003 to 2013, died of a heart attack.
Social media in Uganda were awash of condolence messages praising Nyakairima as one of the country’s most accomplished and finest military generals.
“I am extremely saddened at the untimely passing of our long time commander and leader, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima,” said Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, head of the Special Forces Command, a presidential guard unit.
Nyakairima joined the National Resistance Army guerrilla force in 1982, which brought the country’s current President Yoweri Museveni into power in 1986.