President Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to Omugurusi Festo Karwemera, whom he described as "a gallant son of Uganda who promoted the language and culture of the Bakiga by writing many books; a gesture of preservation of the heritage of the African people."
Through his social media, Mr Museveni noted that Bantu dialects and other African languages are much richer than the European languages, adding that "unfortunately, most of these dialects were not written down."
The President added that, with limited writing and elders dying, he personally joined some linguists from Makerere University to write a thesaurus of Ruyankole-Rukiga (Katondozi).
"Omugurusi Karwemera was a great source of information in writing this book. We shall forever be grateful," Mr Museveni said, adding that, "Our mother tongues have a potentially great future if we could get more linguistic patriots to sensitise the population about the importance of our rich culture."
"We salute Omugurusi Karwemera for the crucial role he played and we pray that his outstanding service will be a source of inspiration and motivation to most Ugandans. May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace."
Omugurusi Karwemera was a language consultant, an author, editor, and consultant on culture, writing and interpreting.
One of the books he wrote was 'Oteebwa Orurimi Rwawe' (Don’t forget your mother language) in 1966, from his classroom notes after inspiration from the East African Literature Association that came looking for writers.