Diaspora mourn Dorothy Mugerwa, Kabaka’s envoy in USA

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In Summary: Her humility and generosity were as pervasive as they were infectious. Professionalism, hard work, community service, compassion for others, and affability seemed infused into her DNA. She loved her Kabaka, Buganda, Uganda, and the United States with a passion rarely witnessed today. Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa, 53, Kabaka’s representative to Northern California including San Francisco and Nevada, succumbed to cardiac arrest last Saturday March 2nd 2019, a few days after she had arrived in Uganda for a short vacation. A loving wife, caring mother, meticulous employee, exemplary leader, and a consummate member of diverse communities, she leaves a legacy that should challenge many to replicate. Laid to rest in Nddoddo, Gomba, Uganda on Saturday March 9, Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa is survived by a husband Paul Mugerwa, 3 children; David, Diana, and Junior Mugerwa. As Samuel Muwanguzi writes, the best way to immortalize Owek. Princess Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa’s legacy is by accomplishing the task she had set before her; constructing a medical center for the Buganda kingdom. RIP, Dorothy, the beloved of God!

Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa. She left too fast and so easily

San Francisco, California — The Ugandan Diaspora across the globe is mourning the sudden death of Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa, the Kabaka of Buganda’s representative in San Francisco and Nevada in the United States. She passed away on Saturday March 2nd in Kampala, Uganda. Owek. Princess Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa succumbed to cardiac arrest (heart failure) a few days after she had arrived in Kampala, Uganda for a short vacation.

According to a family source, the late Dorothy Mugerwa had the previous day; Friday visited some families with children and adults who are suffering from the debilitating sickle cell disease living in Buwambo (her birth place) along Gayaza road near Kampala. The families are beneficiaries of an outreach programs undertaken by an NGO founded and endowed by Owek. Dorothy Mugerwa. The NGO supports families to start income-generating projects by providing them with goats and piglets to sustain themselves. On the fateful Saturday morning, Owek. Dorothy Mugerwa is said to have inspected the construction work of some apartments she and her business partners in San Francisco are funding.

Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa (far right) with other Kabaka's representatives after they had been sworn in at Bulange, Mengo

According to a family source, after the inspection, she returned to the apartment she was living in but felt unwell and requested to be taken to hospital. “As she was going down the stairs, she collapsed and was unresponsive by the time she arrived at Victoria Clinic in Kampala,” the family source told the EADM. Although she was rushed to Cardic hospital for further management, it was too late to revive her and was pronounced dead, the family source said.

At the time of her death, Owek. Princess Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa, 53, was the director of Labs at the Kaiser Permanente hospital, one of the largest and leading health institutions in the United States of America. A resident of San Francisco, California, she is survived by a husband, Paul Mugerwa, and 3 children, three boys and a girl; David 25, Diana 23, and Junior Mugerwa 15.

A requiem mass for the deceased was held at Rubaga Cathedral on Friday March 8, 2019 at 4:00PM. Later, the family of the deceased was hosted by the Kattikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga at his office in Bulange, Mengo. The Kattikiro delivered a message of condolence on behalf of the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to the bereaved family. The Kabaka paid tribute to his fallen representative in San Francisco and Nevada for her tremendous service and contribution to the development of the Buganda Kingdom. He prayed for her soul to rest in eternal peace. She was laid to rest at the family ancestral home in Nddoddo, Gomba district on Saturday March 9, 2019.

The Kattikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga meeting members of the bereaved family to deliver the Kabaka's condolence at his office in Bulange, Mengo on Friday

In the United States and Canada, the tragic death of Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa was received with shock and disbelief. While announcing the sudden death of their fellow colleague to the Kabaka’s subjects and representatives in Europe, Asia, South Africa, the Scandinavian countries, and elsewhere across the globe, the representatives of the Ssabasajja Kabaka in the United States and Canada expressed shock at the untimely demise of their colleague whose work to the Kingdom of Buganda, Uganda, and the United States is invaluable. In successive statements issued on Monday and Tuesday March 4th and 5th respectively, 2019, the Kabaka’s representatives in North America stated: “It is with shock and a great sense of loss that we express our deepest condolences on the sudden death of our beloved friend and colleague Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa who died in Kampala, Uganda on Saturday March 2.”

Some of the Kabaka’s representatives in the United States and Canada who penned the condolence message

The condolence message added: “We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Dorothy especially with respect to the manner in which she died. It is so ironical that our friend and colleague, who has been working with  Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest and leading hospitals in the United States, could die so quickly and easily without accessing emergency care that would have probably helped to save her life when she needed it most,” the statement read in part.

In their tribute, the representatives stated that “Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa has been a strong pillar of support to the Kabaka of Buganda and a passionate implementer of the kingdom’s programs.” The representatives recalled in their statement that in 2017, Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa spoke on their behalf during the 2nd biennial Buganda Bumu convention held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. “Dorothy has been a towering figure on the committee of Kabaka’s representatives in the USA and Canada, the statement said, adding, “She leaves a deep and wide gap in Buganda, Uganda, San Francisco, and the United States of America that will be hard to fill.”

In 2016, the late Owek. Princess Dorothy Mugerwa with the Ugandan community in San Francisco hosted the Nabagereka (Queen) of Buganda Sylvia Naginda as part of the Queen’s program to develop partnerships with highly specialized health institutions in the USA. The community, led by Owek. Dorothy Mugerwa hosted the Nabagereka and her delegation to a royal banquet at the Hilton hotel in San Francisco.

The late Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa (far left) with the Nabagereka of Buganda Sylvia Naginda (center) during the latter visit to San Francisco in 2016

During her visit, the Nabagereka toured the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Walnut Creeek, near San Francisco, California. Owek. Dorothy Mugerwa worked at this facility as the lab director. The Queen’s delegation was led on the tour of the hospital by Kareen Knowles, the associate medical group administrator and the head of the pediatric department

Owek. Princess Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa founded a non-profit organization to support families with children and adults living with Sickle Cell Anemia in Uganda. Working jointly with a US-based insurance company, Kaiser Permenente, she was able to extend assistance to families with children and adults suffering from Sickle Cells. Few days after she had arrived in Uganda, she visited some of the beneficiaries of her organization’s programs in Buwambo, along Gayaza road near Kampala.

In their condolence message, also copied to two ministers of the Buganda kingdom government; Mr. Joseph Kawuki, and Mrs. Prosperous Nankindu, the representatives stated: “Dorothy has been a prominent and influential member of the multi-ethnic communities living in San Francisco city in California. She was a generous individual; often volunteering her time, energy, and resources to support those in need and worked hard to ensure unity and togetherness across ethnic and racial boundaries.

The Representative of the Ssabassajja Kabaka of Buganda to Northern California and Nevada, omumbejja (princess) Mrs. Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa with her husband Mr. Mugerwa.

The representatives of the Kabaka stated that although the death of their colleague and friend was shocking and tragic, they thanked God who gives and takes and accepted it was by divine order that Dorothy died the way she did.” While underscoring her exemplary life, they prayed that the good things she has done during her life would strengthen the family, relatives, friends, and everybody else to derive some inspiration to immortalize her legacy.,” Dorothy has been a loyal and good friend to many and together with her husband Paul Mugerwa, the couple had turned their family home in Vallejo near San Francisco into a welcoming space to all people regardless of their backgrounds.

Separately, some of the representatives of the Kabaka in the United States who had worked closely with Owek. Princess Dorothy Mugerwa told the EADM that the Kingdom of Buganda has indeed lost a strong pillar whose voice and actions will be hard to replace.

Owek. Eng. Moses Mayanja, Kabaka’s representative to Washington State, Idaho, and   Oregon recalled with fond memories when he travelled to Uganda with   Dorothy and other representatives for their acceptance and induction as Kabaka’s representatives. “It was an exciting time because our families; Owek. Dorothy Mugerwa, Omugave Joseph Ndugwa, and Moses Mayanja) held a joint celebration to mark the historical swearing-in event that was held in the Buganda Lukiiko (Parliament) at Bulange,” Owek. Mayanja told the EADM in an interview. “I even spoke to Dorothy on Friday, the day before her demise,” the engineer said with a faltering voice.

Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa

Contacted for a comment, Owek. Abu Senkayi, Ph.D., the representative of the Kabaka in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana, echoed the sentiments expressed by his fellow representatives in their successive statements. “She has died as a relatively young lady and yet she has done a lot for Buganda, Uganda, and the United States. Her death is indeed a blow to us as fellow representatives and all those whose lives she touched in a special way,” the soft-spoken Dr. Senkayi said.

Ugandan-born US Army Maj. Frank Musisi, a longtime friend of the fallen princess and her family. Seen here addressing mourners who turned up for the wake at his home in Los Angeles, CA

Meanwhile, residents of Las Angeles last Sunday March 3 held a vigil at the home of the Ugandan-born US Army Maj. Frank Musisi, a longtime friend of the fallen princess and her family. Beyond being a member of the same clan with Paul Mugerwa, Dorothy’s husband, Maj. Frank Musisi has been a close friend to the family for over 20 years. “We are close family friends and every time I visit San Francisco, I stay at their house and whenever they visit Los Angeles, they stay at our house,” Maj. Musisi told the EADM in a phone interview.

Maj. Frank Musisi has also been a loyal supporter of the fallen princess in her work as the Kabaka’s envoy to   San Francisco and Nevada.  “I even spoke to Dorothy about her proposal to construct a medical center she was to unveil on Monday March 4 before the Buganda kingdom administration a day before she collapsed at the apartment she was living in in Kampala,” Maj. Musisi told the EADM, Monday. “Unfortunately, she never lived to present her plan,” Maj. Musisi mourned. “I hope and pray that her dream of constructing a medical center in Buganda becomes a reality as a way of keeping legacy alive,” Maj. Musisi said.

Different speakers who addressed the mourners; in white Elizabeth Ndugwa, wife of Owek. Joseph Ndugwa Semakula, Kabaka’s representative to Los Angeles, Hawaii and Arizona; and in blue is Jane Muwanga, president of Mothers’ Union (Ugandan) in Los Angeles.

Over 40 mourners gathered at the residence of Maj. Musisi for a wake in tribute to their departed friend. During the event, the mourners were addressed via tele-conference call by Paul Mugerwa, the husband of the late Dorothy and Owek. Joseph Semakula Ndugwa, Kabaka’s representative to southern California including Los Angeles, Arizona and Hawaii. Owek. Ndugwa is also in Uganda and was scheduled to accompany the late Dorothy Mugerwa to Bulange last Monday (March 4) where she was to present her proposal to construct a medical center (hospital) in the kingdom.

Among the Ugandan community leaders who addressed the mourners included the President of the Ugandan community living in North California Damiano Kigoye, the Speaker of the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) Alex Semwanga, and the host, Maj. Frank Musisi. All the speakers and mourners extolled the virtues that were reflected and practiced by the departed Dorothy Mugerwa which included unity, togetherness, and loving kindness.

Meanwhile, immediately after the shocking death of Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa was announced, the Ugandan-born US-Airforce Major Lukiya Mulumba, also the founder of the Uganda-American Sickle Cell association posted on the organization’s Facebook page:  “We are feeling heartbroken in Vallejo, California. RIP omwagalwa Dorah.....Praying for family!!


US-Airforce Dr. Maj.  Lukiya Mulumba, a neighbor and close friend of the Mugerwa family in Vallejo, near San Francisco, California.

Maj. Mulumba’s post continued: “A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven; we part our beloved Dorah in severe pain and sorrow. We are saddened to announce the untimely death of our BEST friend, sister, and confidant. Omumbejja Dorah Musoke Mugerwa. Dorah passed away while on vacation in Uganda of apparent heart attack. She leaves behind three children and a husband. May her soul RIP and may God continue to protect her family during this difficult time. We are forever grateful for your community service over the years.”

Maj. Lukiya Mulumba, a close neighbor to the bereaved family in San Francisco told the EADM that she had known the family of the Mugerwa for over 14 years and she had worked together with Dorothy on sickle cell issues in Uganda and on other health problems experienced in Buganda and Uganda in general. “We have lost a very loving, generous, and development-oriented individual. She was a longtime friend and our families have been close for a long time. The community here in San Francisco, America, Buganda, and Uganda will miss her invaluable sense of duty,” the Ugandan-born US-Airforce Major mourned.

By all accounts, Owek. Princess Dorothy Mugerwa’s humility and generosity were as pervasive as they were infectious. Professionalism, hard work, community service, compassion for others, and affability seemed infused into her DNA.  She loved her Kabaka, Buganda, Uganda, and the United States with a passion rarely witnessed today.

Owek. Princess Dorothy Naddamba Musoke Mugerwa, a loving wife, caring mother, meticulous employee, exemplary leader, and a consummate member of diverse communities, leaves a legacy that should challenge many to replicate. To that end, the most meaningful way to immortalize Owek. Princess Dorothy Musoke Mugerwa’s legacy is by accomplishing the task she had set before her; constructing a medical center for the Buganda kingdom. RIP, Dorothy, the beloved of God!

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