On the day, Dr Milton Obote was overthrown by Tito Okello Lutwa in 1985, John Kittobbe was enjoying a tennis game with a friend at Lugogo.
All of a sudden, there was sound of gunfire, set off by jubilant soldiers.
“He took cover on the benches and urged his friend to follow suit. The friend appeared reluctant but Kittobbe insisted,” said one of his long time friends.
On November 18 when riots broke out in Kampala after the arrest of Bobi Wine in Luuka, Kittobbe was walking along Kampala road.
Then a pick up truck full of security operatives zoomed past, firing bullets.
Like he had done in 1985, he took cover this time in one of the shops on Mabirizi Complex.
A few minutes later after the situation had appeared to normalise, Kittobbe opted to move out.
He stepped out of the building and walked a few metres. Bang! a stray bullet hit him and severed a nerve in his neck. In a few minutes without quick assistance, he bled to death, joining the statistics of those who died during the riots.
Kittobbe, 71, retired from public service more than a decade ago and embraced commercial farming in Mushanga, Sheema where he owned a vast farm.
He lived a fairly comfortable life. All his six children had completed school and some are working for prestigious institutions.
With his wife, Loise, they had aged gracefully.
They did not have the worries that normally pre-occupy people of their age. Worries about money, worries about survival. Or even worries about health.
Kittobbe was an exercise freak.
Over the years as he tried to find something to occupy his time, he had taken to walking. On a given Saturday he would don his sports gear and walk from his home in Naalya estate to Bweyogerere.
He was also planned to walk the length and breadth of Sheema district before his death. This never happened.
While he was a victim of events sparked off by a political contestation, Kittobbe was, ironically, apolitical.
Nothing, it seems, could steer him into the direction of politics. Not his wealth, not even the fact one of his most prominent OB’s while he studied at Ntare School was President Museveni, who had ruled Uganda for the last 34 years.
Kittobbe was laid to rest on November 21 at his farm in Mushanga. As the MC read out the eulogies and tributes, one of the contestants for the Sheema Municipality seat whispered that he wanted to greet the mourners.
“Sorry,” the MC said. “This burial will not be turned into a political function.”
Kittobe’s fact file
Date of Birth: 15thApril 1949
Wife: Mrs. Lois Kittobbe
- Micheal Mwebaze
- Arnold Mwesigye
- Joan Musiime Mwondha
- Jean Mbabazi Okecho
- Grace Asiimwe Mwogeza
- Ronald Mushabe
- Mushanga Boys School , Junior Secondary 1957 – 1965
- Ntare School O’Level 1966 – 1968
- Ntare School A’Level 1969 – 1970
- Makerere University (B.comm) 1972 – 1976
- University of Leeds in Uk (Masters in Business Administration- Management studies 1984 – 1986)
- 1974 – 1988 Agricultural Enterprises Limited as Chief Accountant
- 1989 – 1992 Makerere University: Lecturer Faculty of Commence
- 1992 -1998 Uganda Red Cross Society: Director of Finance and Administration
- 1999 – 2009 Uganda Management Institute