In a solemn ceremony that took place on November 8, 2023, in Kabale District, Uganda, the late Chris John Bakiza, a retired director of criminal investigations (CID), was accorded a three-gun salute during his burial. Bakiza, aged 69, had succumbed to cancer on the previous Saturday, while under medical care at the Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Representatives from the Uganda Police, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Zulah Gunyana and Kigezi Regional Police Commander ACP Ibrahim Saiga, were present to honor the late Bakiza in the absence of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth-Ochola.
The burial ceremony took place at the Habubure playground in Butanda Sub County, Kabale District, just a short distance from Bakiza’s ancestral home. Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their respects and offer condolences to the family, with the Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Kigezi, Rev. Canon Milton Nkurunungi, representing Bishop Rt. Rev. Gaddie Akanjuna.
During the ceremony, speakers remembered Chris John Bakiza as a mentor, role model, and author who inspired many youths in the area to join the police force. He was recognized not only for his sharp intellect but also for his distinguished sense of dressing. Moreover, Bakiza was celebrated for his unwavering dedication to service.
Ms. Aidah Mehangye, representing the family, as well as Bakiza’s wife, Ms. Robinah Bakiza, and church leaders, praised the deceased for his faith, as he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior before his passing. Even during his illness, Bakiza shared the word of God with those who visited him in the hospital, bringing strength and inspiration to family, friends, and relatives. Ms. Mehangye expressed gratitude to the Uganda Police Force for providing an official burial for their retired family member, highlighting his legacy of offering free legal services to the less privileged during his legal career.
In a message conveyed by Kigezi Regional Police Commander ACP Ibrahim Saiga and protocol officers, Mr. Ochola, the Inspector General of Police, lauded Bakiza for his dedicated service to the police force. Bakiza had retired voluntarily in 2002, leaving behind a legacy of commitment and professionalism.
The State Minister for Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Mr. David Bahati, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ndorwa West, Bakiza’s hometown, described his passing as a significant loss not only for Kabale District but for the entire country.
During the funeral service, Rev. Canon Milton Nkurunungi, the Secretary of Kigezi Diocese, delivered a sermon encouraging mourners to follow Bakiza’s example by embracing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He emphasized the importance of faith in conjunction with earthly wealth and the lasting impact it can have on one’s life.
Finally, the orphans, led by Fiona Bakiza, expressed their gratitude for their late father’s love and care. He had supported their education by paying school fees and had been a guiding presence in their lives.