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
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
“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
//////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
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
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"//////
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
“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
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
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.
Quotes On Alcohol and Alcoholics
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