• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

A Life Lost Too Early: Sam Mayanja’s 23-year-old Daughter Laid to Rest

UGANDA, Mityana Real Muloodi News | Belinda Birungi, daughter to State Minister of Lands, Sam Mayanja, was yesterday painfully laid to rest in Mityana district.

During the burial, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was represented by Judith Nabakooba, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

In the President’s eulogy read by the Lands Minister, the President commiserated with the family of Hon. Dr Sam Mayanja, saying that they have lost a promising young woman who died at a time when she is needed most.

“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Mayanja. You have lost an important and promising person in your family,” the President said.

At just 23 years old, Belinda Birungi tragically lost her life during a motor accident on Friday, October 28, 2022. This happened shortly before 8pm in the Ntinda neighborhood. She was on her way home when the tragedy occurred, just before she had reached her parents’ Ntinda home in the upscale Minister’s Village.

Birungi was reportedly knocked by a truck while riding on a boda boda motorcycle along Stretcher road, Ntinda, in the outskirts of Kampala city. She was only 1 kilometre from her destination. The boda boda rider died on the spot, while Birungi was rushed to China-Uganda Friendship Hospital, Naguru, in critical condition, where she later died.

Ntinda Police Post OC, Moses Wegulo said that the accident happened when the truck failed to climb the hilly road, and backed into the victims on the boda boda. The truck driver is said to have fled the scene and is on the run.

“Between 1920hrs and 1930hrs of Friday evening, we received information about the accident on Ntinda – Stretcher Road. We rushed there and we found the boda boda rider dead already. A Good Samaritan had rushed the lady to Naguru Hospital. It is this morning when relatives came to ask for security for the vigil that I learnt that she is the minister’s daughter,” Mr Wegulo said.

Belinda Birungi was returning from Muyenga, where she had joined her campus friends to celebrate her graduate admission into the prestigious Endicott College of Massachusetts for a Master’s degree, the news of which had been communicated a day earlier.

Born on 22nd January 1999 to Dr. Sam Mayanja and Rose Bossa, Belinda Birungi had cheerfully graduated from Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono in July this very year, with a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial and Fine Art. She was supposed to start work at NC Bank on Wednesday, where she had just secured a job.

Friends and relatives of Minister Mayanja on Monday morning converged at St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church in Ntinda for a requiem mass to celebrate her loving memory. Many of her childhood friends, OBs and OGs from Jill Nursery, Kampala Parents, Seeta High School and UCU equally came in big numbers to say their goodbyes.

Speaking to mourners on Monday morning at the Ntinda Church, Dr. Sam Mayanja said that his daughter’s death came at a time when they least expected it.

“We are in a very trying moment, but we believe Belinda is in very safe place now. It’s God who give and He is the one who takes. Rest In Eternal Peace my daughter,” the Minister said.

Belinda’s mother, Rose Mayanja, in her eulogy said, “My daughter was everything to me. She was my prayer partner and companion and we always came to this church as parishioners together and we had our known corner where we used to sit.”

“She was my daughter but I always admired her and I kept telling God to give her to me for many years because I felt I needed her around me for many more years to come. She took good care of her siblings [Micheal Mayanja and Elizabeth Kisakye] whenever I was away. And she took very good care of them,” she added.

Mrs Mayanja also narrated Belinda’s last moments to the mourners, and said her daughter was conscious upon arriving at the hospital, and gave out her phone password to doctors to contact her relatives and inform them what had happened to her.

“She just had a few bruises on the face, she was talking very well but unfortunately a few hours later she was pronounced dead. This is really a trying moment for our family,” teary Mrs Mayanja revealed, adding she believes that her daughter died from internal bleeding that had gone unabated since arriving at the hospital.

Parish Priest Rev Fr. Edward Muwanga, who led the mass and who had personally known Belinda since childhood, asserted that Belinda’s death must remind everyone of the reality that in this world, no one is too young to die, and called upon believers to return to God.

“This earth is not our home. In whatever you do, always plan and prepare for your departure,” Rev. Kayiizi tasked mourners.

The burial ceremony was attended by a large delegation of Ministers and Lands Ministry officials, including State Minister for Public Service, Hon. Grace Mary Mugasa, who represented the cabinet, State Minister for Tourism, Hon Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, Mubende Woman MP, Hon Hope Grania Nakazibwe, State House Anti-Corruption Unit head Brig Henry Isoke, and Ministers Hon Anifa Kawooya and Hon Obiga Kania. Several Judicial officers, serving and retired, equally attended in big numbers. These included ex-CJ Bart Katureebe, ex-PJ Yerokam Bamwine, amoung others.

Belinda was buried at 2pm on Monday afternoon in Mityana, some 80kms away from Ntinda where she grew up.


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