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Celebrating The Life And Times Of Lt. General Pecos Kutesa

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He has been described a brave, fearless and one of the intellectual soldiers of our time.
19 Aug 2021 18:46
Lt. General Pecos O Kutesa. He has been described as a brave and fearless an intellectual solider of our times

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 Lt. General Onesmus Kutesa popularly known as Pecos O Kutesa loved reading novels and watching films. Watching films particularly earned him a nickname that remained part of his name until his death in retirement. 

Pecos Kutesa was born in 1956. Both of his parents were deeply religious having been the first balokole Christians in Kabula or present day Lyantonde district. He was the first of the two children of that couple. 

 “I started learning the bible before I joined primary one. Because my father was blind, I would read it for him. He also taught me how to use the brail.” Kutesa narrated early in 2018.  

With his deep sense of humor Kutesa once revealed he trailed his in his primary four class at a because he had been used to being taught in Luganda. “But I gradually overcome that when I mastered how to read and write in English. Since then I have never put a book down” shared Pecos Kutesa

//////Cue In “The first Primary school ..........

Cue Out.... I have never put book down”//////

By the time if his death, Pecos Kutesa held a Social Sciences degree from Makerere University, a Masters degree from Uganda Management Institute and certificates in military training in Tanzania and Ghana among others. Both degrees were obtained after the war in Luwero. 

Sometime in the 70’s Kutesa fell in love with a film titled “My Name is Pecos” It was released acted by Pecos Martinez or Robert Woods in 1967. At the time, he was undergoing secondary education in Masaka.

“I was nicknamed Pecos while in Secondary School because like Pecos in the film, I was good at boxing. So I have had that name right from school and I used it in Luwero.” Kutesa once narrated 

In “My Name is Pecos” film, the actor set out to settle a long-standing score against the racist boss who wiped out his entire family. Kutesa had watched similar injustices especially the 1966 crisis so he like Pecos Martinez set out to fight the injustice by joining the army. 

He joined Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) in 1975 until 1979 when the late President Iddi Amin was toppled. He deserted the UNLF to join the NRA rebel ranks. 

“I never belonged to the UNLF mentally. I was a trained soldier. Luckily when I joined they were planning to attack Kakiri. And I was immediately selected to be the leader of the section” Kutesa in an interview from URN archives. 

Asked about what memory he had for the Matuga-Kapeka road, he cited ambushes and landmines. 

////Cue in “That swamp up to there Cue Out......

in very fun way”////

Some have suggested that Pecos Kutesa was very close to the then NRA rebel leader, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during the Luwero triangle struggle. Kutesa was indeed Museveni’s interpreter during the war because he knew Luganda and English. He with another dead fighter then known as suicide or Emilio Katungi were always with Museveni. 

When the NRA took power in 1986, it is said that the brave Pecos Kutesa was among some of the commanders that continued with the fight towards Eastern Uganda.

Mourning his fallen colleague, Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye described Lt. General Pecos Kutesa as a brave soldier. 

“He was very a smart soldier and very brave in all operations. He was also an ardent reader of books regardless of the title and how big it was” said Kulayigye 

Kutesa was one of the makers of 1995 Constitution of Uganda. He represented Kabura. Apart from other contributions, Pecos Kutesa once sparked a heated debate. He suggested the inclusion of Bahima as a separate nationality from Banyankole.  

But the CA passed the nationalities schedule without the Bahima as a separate nationality. Some sources that worked with General Kutesa indicated that unlike some Generals in the current army, he was incorruptible.  

Perhaps driven by his personal his philosophy about life and wealth.  “He Baganda say that what ripens quickly gets rotten fast. I have seen people amass a lot of wealth. But you find them empty during the evening of their lives” he said

////Cue In " When we captured power......

.Cue Out ..........that I will ever sit in a car"//////

Battling Alcoholism and its evils 

Pecos Kutesa spent close to 14 years in the UPDF without being deployed. His love for the waragi nearly put a stop on Kutesa’s military career and his life too. “I was sacked from the army, put on katebe for more than 14 years. In my ignorance, I thought the army or the leadership was against me. But I found out that it was good for my health. When I reorganized, I found out that my health was deteriorating” narrated Kutesa

“And when you are an alcoholic, you tend to think that the world is against you. Everybody who talks to you think that they are against you or bampalana. There is a sense of guilt when you wake up when you have a hangover you feel guilty because the things you did you don’t remember them. And that guilt continues with you. The only soothing factor is another tot” he added. 

  Kutesa got hospitalized in India where he spent over for months in coma having been diagnosed with liver necrosis-an acute damage of the liver. 

“When they told me that the liver is having scars, In India they told me stop drinking. I said these people are joking. By the time I realized the liver had died completely they had to remove it, throw it away. So I was just garbage. Anybody looking at me would say why are they wasting time with this fellow” he said     

Kutesa would only be saved by his wife and fellow NRA bush war fighter, Rhoda Kutesa who agreed to donate part of her liver to save him. And by the grace of God, Kutesa was back on his feet. 

Lt. Gen Pecos Kutesa was quite a man of humor hardly would he complete a conversation without bursting into laughter. 

Former NRA fighter and Mbarara MP, Winnie Byanyima in a tweet responding to news about his death said “Farewell, RIP comrade Pecos. Hero of our revolution. You will live on in my heart, enquiring, questioning, challenging with humour. Ever digging deep in search for truth. A Restless mind, a true intellectual. Ushindi wetu ni lazima!” said Winnie Byanyima 

While the NRM official party said “We are deeply saddened by the death of Lt General Pecos Kutesa. In Lt General Pecos Kutesa, Uganda has lost a true patriot, teacher, intellectual, and Statesman who executed his duties to the latter”

In 2006, Pecos Kutesa then at the rank of Colonel authored a book “Uganda’s Revolution 1979-1986: How I Saw It” He provided insights into the ideology and principles of the NRA, and traced his own growth and development from a naive young student to an adult troubled by political turmoil. He was one of the ten UPDF representatives to the tenth Parliament at which he was until its end. 

Lt. General Pecos Kutesa’s body is expected to be returned from New Delhi on Friday 20th August. He will be buried on Sunday August 22nd at his home in Lyantonde. He and Rhoda Kutesa had children. 

  Kutesa’s Quotes On Alcohol and Alcoholics      

“Alcoholism goes with a lot of immoral behavior and I was not immune to beautiful girls. And not necessarily beautiful because when you drink, you get a delusion. There is simple story of when you go to a bar and a waitress brings you a beer.   You look at the waitress, you look at the legs, she is nothing. When she brings the second one, you start noticing something good on her. By the fourth bottle, she is beautiful. So alcoholism creates that illusion. We ended up with so many ladies who we were not up to with” Lt. General Pecos Kutesa    

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