By Moses Mulondo
Just before 4:00pm on Thursday (February 17), Parliament approved a motion to pay tribute to Fr. Simon Lokodo, who died last month in Switzerland.
Lokodo was on duty with a delegation from Uganda attending a United Nations meeting in Geneva.
A little over a week after the 64-year-old former ethics and integrity minister was laid to rest, a motion to pay tribute to him was moved by the deputy Premier, Gen. Moses Ali, who hailed Lokodo for fighting corruption and other immoral practices.
Several legislators, including ministers, hailed him for promoting good morals and for promoting education in his home region of Karamoja.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, chaired Thursday’s sitting.
She said: “He was consistent on what he wanted. He remained committed to the morals and values of the Catholic Church even when he had left priesthood. He discouraged wearing of mini-skirts even here in Parliament. He hated homosexuality. He left a legacy of integrity.”
The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Goretti Kitutu, said Lokodo helped many children to be educated, built a good hotel in the area that promotes tourism and played a key role in fighting cattle rustling.
The State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Esther Anyakun, said: “Karamoja has lost someone who made us known for good morals. He supported the entire region. He promoted education in the region. He got scholarships for many children in Karamoja. We, as a region, ask that someone from Karamoja takes over his position in Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).”
Lokodo, who was the MP for Dodoth West from 2011 to 2021, was last year appointed to serve as one of the commissioners of UHRC.
He became prominent while serving as Minister for Ethics and Integrity, during which he waged many wars, including against nudity and the annual Nyege Nyege festival.
Before entering politics, Lokodo was a parish priest at Kaabong Catholic Parish. He held various roles in the Kotido and Moroto dioceses.