Mr Omwonya addresses mourners during burial arrangements for Brig Karim at Ntinda, Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

The deputy commander of the UPDF Reserve Forces, Brig. Peter Kerim, is dead. His cousin, Mercelino Wanitho, said Kerim died yesterday morning at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala where he had been admitted for a week and half.

“He has been too good, humble yet well exposed, said Mr Wanitho, also a senior police officer. “We have lost a great man who has served his country with dedication, and has been helpful to especially the people of West Nile.”

Kerim hailed from Paidha, in present-day Zombo District, and was one of the few UPDF generals from West Nile sub-region. The cause of his death is yet to be established.
By last evening, mourners were flocking to his home in Ntinda, a city suburb.
The UPDF Land Forces commander, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, who was among the mourners, and is coordinating the burial arrangements, told Daily Monitor that the deceased will be remembered for his “straight forwardness”.

“His discipline could not be questioned and he loved his country, the junior officers under his command as well as peers,” Lt. Gen. Wamala said of the man to whom he was deputy commander at the Mbarara-based UPDF 2nd Division.

He added: “We shall miss Peter because he was a straight forward person who spoke out his mind, even if you were his senior, but in a dignified manner. He loved his job and worked with devotion.”

Peter Kerim, 57, never involved in intrigue, the Land Forces commander said.
Those virtues, refined with a series of military trainings, got Kerim out of the remote Nvugu Parish in Paidha and catapulted him through battalion and brigade command positions to a Division commander.

He also had a stint in covert operations, serving as deputy director general of the External Security Organisation (ESO) from 2003 to 2005. Kerim’s 36 years’ experience in the military could at last keep him as deputy commander for the Reserve Forces, a posting relatives and friends considered to be redundant amid reports he had been sidelined.

Family sources said his body by last evening was at Mulago Hospital, awaiting post-mortem and embalming. Stanley Mr Omwonya, the MP for Okoro in Zombo District, said: “Kerim’s death is a great loss, particularly for the people of West Nile.”
A funeral service is to be held at Mbuya Church in Kampala tomorrow before Kerim’s body leaves for Paidha Town overnight.

The army announced it will meet all burial expenses and likely provide two buses for a return trip for mourners from Kampala. Kerim is expected to be buried on Wednesday.

By Tabu Butagira, Daily Monitor

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