Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga the Minister of East African affairs said that amidst a tough start at the establishment of the Ministry of East African Community in 2007,
Hon. Kategaya’s steadfastness, brilliance, profile, and influence made the possibility of Ministry to survive, grow and execute its mandate up to date.
According to Kadaga, at the time of his death in 2013, Kategaya who had served in this Ministry for six years had signed two of the four pillars of the East African Community (EAC) integration plus also spearheaded negotiations for the
monetary union and other sectoral protocols.
“Today I’m honored to continue his work and to also ensure the establishment of the East African Monetary Union in Uganda and later the East African political Confederation” Kadaga noted.
The Kamuli district legislator also the first deputy Prime Minister made these remarks at the Hon. Eriya Kategaya memorial lecture held in Kampala on Wednesday.
Kadaga also noted that because Eriya Kategaya was a champion of EAC integration, they will continue to cherish and celebrate his life and also remember him as a gallant son of this country who dedicated the whole of his life towards
serving his motherland and the integration of EAC.
With the mandate to steer Uganda’s regional integration agenda in accordance with the objectives of the treaty for the establishment of EAC, Kategaya was the first cabinet Minister to head this Ministry together with his Permanent Secretary Edith Mwanje and a staff of fewer than 10 people.
In his speech, Rtd. Col. Amanya Mushega the chairman, of the Education Policy review commission, defined the late Kategaya as polite, simple, and of immense humility who served in government for a long time but was never involved in stealing and
“Although he was very senior in the movement, army, and the government he served diligently and humbly in positions lesser than his stature than those occupied by people originally junior to him and he had no ego problem hence a fine
and refined gentleman” he highlighted.
“He was a firm believer in the integration of Africa starting with expanding the EAC and he wanted leaders to focus on bigger strategic issues and believe in the rule of law” he added.
Hon, Margret Ziwa the former speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) noted that the late Kategaya advocated for the effective implementation of the pillars of integration, he was very emphatic on commonalities and he always reminded those that believed are better than others that on the weighing scale of the colonialists we are all less developed countries.
“When issues of land had become very difficult he advocated for it to be removed in the common market protocol and that’s how it was later signed” she asserted.
In his remarks, Hon. Mike Sebalu highlighted that the late Kategaya believed in the vision of the EAC which is to be a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable, and politically united East Africa.
“Although he was a member of the Council of Ministers, he supported other organs like EALA as the legislative organ of the community and he always supported the legislative processes whenever he was available” Sebalu noted.
Joan Kategaya the widow of the late Eriya Kategaya thanked Hon. Kadaga and her team at the Ministry for honoring his late husband by organizing this memorial lecture and she asked the almighty to bless them and guide them throughout the
journey of integration.
Born on 4th July 1949 in Intojo Ntungamo western Uganda, the late Eriya Kategaya together with President Museveni founded the Uganda Patriotic Movement that contested in the 1980 elections and after their success of the liberation war against
the Obote regime he served in different capacities up to the time of his death in 2023.