Bushenyi. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has urged Ugandans to emulate the late former rally ace and businessman Charles Muhangi who mourners eulogised as “very hard working, development focused, generous and supportive.”
Muhangi was laid to rest yesterday at his country home in Bumbaire II Village, Bumbaire Sub-county in Bushenyi District.
He died in his bed at his residence in Buziga, Kampala on Thursday.
Dr Rugunda said Muhangi transformed public transport in Uganda and his Horizon buses besides being comfortable came at a time when the country’s transport services were very poor.
“He laid a foundation for public transport. What has been on his heart is to develop business and Uganda. That’s why he was involved in (property) wrangles. But when you are driving on murram, dust has to be raised,” Dr Rugunda said, referring to the protracted property wrangles Muhangi has had with other businessmen regarding the Qualicel Bus Terminal in Kampala.
“The image of Kampala has changed because of that development (buildings at Qualicel). If we had many Muhangis, development of the country would have gone ahead faster. He loved Uganda, business, and uplifted others. We should emulate him,” Dr Rugunda appealed.
Muhangi’s mother Ms Angella Rwankoore said at one time her son owned up to 40 buses. She added that Muhangi was “daring, ambitious and adventurous” right from his childhood. According to Ms Rwankoore, Muhangi dropped out of secondary school to pursue business in order to sustain the family after the death of his father Alphonse Rwankoore who was kidnaped and killed during Idi Amin’s regime in the 1970s.
Muhangi started with taxi business using a family vehicle. He later ventured into coffee business and subsequently bought an Omnibus and two buses at 21.
Former Education minister and East African Community Secretary General Amanya Mushega and the deceased’s uncles urged young people to work hard.
Mr Mushega urged the young people to be disciplined and stop begging or lamenting about their poor status.
“He [Muhangi] had a background of committed people and community. He brought us pride and honour and revived the family to where it is now,” he said.
Mr John Mojule, the consultant for Muhangi’s fish project in Mukono District, said: “He was  but he had youthful vigour for development.”
The deceased’s wife, Ms Patience Muhangi, said her husband was planning “very big and long term developments as if he was going to live 200 years.”
Local businessman and friend Hajj Hassan Basajjabalaba pledged to support the family to retain the property Muhangi had secured.
“We shall give you maximum support, even from government; we shall not allow grabbing of his property. I have fought even tougher challenges. Whoever thinks that Muhangi has died they will take his property, forget,” Mr Basajjabalaba said.
Related: Charles Muhangi found dead
Mr Basajjabalaba described Muhangi as daring and unrelenting which enabled him regain his property but added: “It’s also important to be flexible because you can avoid problems.”
Ms Mary Okurut Karooro, the Minister of State for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, described Muhangi as a hardworking and brave’ person. “We have lost greatly but it is God who understands His ways,” Ms Karooro said.
Bishop of West Ankole Diocese Johnson Twinomujuni challenged Muhangi’s children to emulate his gallantry and heroism.