WHY M7 MUST RECONCILE ERIYA KATEGAYA’S WIDOWS, ORPHANS
President Museveni or any other senior official in government must end their indifference and take off time to reconcile what remains of their old Comrade Eriya Kategaya’s family. The man, who for long was considered number 2 in the NRM, died a few years ago and left two widows and less than 10 grown up children. However, since his death battles regarding control of his estate have wrecked a lot of havoc to the family. On one hand are Sr Widow Joan Kategaya and Diana Kategaya on the other.
Diana is the one he stayed with at the time of his death having married her in 2006. Joan Kategaya had meanwhile more/less separated with Kategaya and lived apart for the 25 years preceding his death. His estate isn’t very vast because it comprised majorly of three properties namely –a farm in Kabula Lyantonde, the country home in Itojo Ntungamo and another property in Rwampara. Besides these, he possessed pension of about Shs75m which the children and widows were even oblivious about until the leadership of Parliament rang his first born/eldest daughter Annette alerting her to come for the money.
He also left some little money on the bank account which, as of last year, had accumulated to Shs480m. This money caused serious war as Joan, backed by her children (Julius, Juliet, Rona and Marcel Kategayas), insisted on enjoying it alone to the total exclusion of the other orphans. Besides these 4 kids, Kategaya was survived by Tonia (Diana’s only child with him) and Annette his eldest daughter who is mothered by neither Joan nor Diana.
TURNING IN HIS GRAVE:
Kategaya, a man known for his modesty and grace in life, must be uneasily turning in his grave wherever he is. This is so because his two widows and the orphans have quite often behaved in a way that clearly disreputes him. Most of the time the wars have been about property and material things: Joan stands accused of trying to always sideline Diana and the other orphans.
At some point it was agreed that in order to diminish conflict between the two widows, Diana takes the Kabula farm and Ntungamo/Itojo is left for Joan the senior widow. In fact initially Diana and Annette the eldest daughter were objecting to Joan having much say in the deceased’s estate given the prolonged period (25 years) during which she lived apart from him before death.
The matter in the end went to court and it’s still on. Diana and the other orphans are also unhappy each time the big man calls a meeting to give some financial support to the Kategaya family; Joan sidelines them and only takes her children. And while there instead of discussing development the discussion is mostly on accusing Diana the co-widow and the other orphans that aren’t Joan’s. Museveni naturally hates such pettiness and has always avoided being dragged in that direction. But suspicion remains and keeps growing. There is context to all this because Joan and her children have tended to treat the others very aggressively with hostilities.
For instance one time, Joan’s children led by Juliet stormed Lyantonde to physically teach Diana a lesson they claimed she would never forget. She was bathing when they arrived and didn’t allow her to even finish. They stormed the bathroom and beat her up before proceeding to throw out all her house hold items. They kept shouting “you are a very useless prostitute” whereafter they burnt the mattresses, the photo albums, Diana’s G-strings and all the other things that were thrown out of the house. She reported to police but, like it has always happened to other complainants in Kayihura’s police, nothing was done.
This attack on Diana was after the friends had sat down the two widows and orphans and hammered out a consensus on how to share parts of the estate that aren’t subject to the ongoing court cases. Diana, Annette and other orphans clearly don’t trust Joan who they among other things accuse of using a dubious power of attorney to access the old man’s Shs480m pension in the bank. She made matters even worse when she chewed all the money (Shs480m and Shs75m from Parliament) alone. “She is really heartless and so unfair. I’m the one Parliament contacted but because I had trust in her, I alerted her to go and follow up on the Shs75m. The day she got it, she never spoke to me again and I tried to protest but she ignored me,” Annette told Mulengera news in a phone interview a short while ago.
ANNETTE vs. JOAN KATEGAYA:
Whereas much of the report is old script, there are latest developments of as recent as last week. What happened? As she relaxed in her house in Kitintale, Annette got the unusual visitor. It was a city journalist who she had worked with before on some joint missions with Joan. The journalist (names withheld) told her he had been sent by Joan to warn her to be very careful.
“He told me Joan says you might think you know many people but she knows more people and is asking you to tread very carefully and leave her alone.” This was in reference to the 9th December 2017 incidence when thugs broke into Annette’s home in Kitintale and cut her in the head 15 times before leaving her for dead. Thinking she was dead, the men left but to comoflouge their murderous intentions (making it look a robbery), they took off with her phones, hand bags, money and a TV screen which they abandoned on the road outside her residence.
“I reported to police but everybody said this attack must have been occasioned by people close to you. It wasn’t a robbery but an assassination attempt,” Joan who says she was sedated and didn’t realize anything told this news website. “They left me for dead and I also didn’t realize anything but when I woke up, I realized I was sleeping in the pool of blood. I was stitched 15 times to overcome the deep wounds that were inflicted on me.” She suspects the guilty conscience might be haunting her step mother which is why she sent the journalist emissary to talk to her to go slow on the complaint she took to Kitintale Police under SD Ref 20/09/12/2017.
After the journalistic visit, Annette says she feared for her life and returned to police to report a new threat and this time around directly complained against her step mother Joan Kategaya who police is yet to summon for a statement along with her emissary the journalist. We asked her why she thinks this journalist indeed was sent by Joan and this is what she said: “I’m very sure beyond any doubt because those two are very close friends and we have worked with that journalist before.”
She says she is seriously fearing for her life having recently rejected Joan’s plea that she (Annette) goes to Court and undergo a DNA test to prove Kategaya was her father to aid efforts by court to resolve the estate issues. We were unable to speak to the other Kategaya children but the ever escalating feuds among them and the widows require urgent intervention by President Museveni and other big men in government that were close to Kategaya, lest it might culminate into serious bloodshed.