By Umar Kashaka
Parliament is today (Thursday) set to pay tribute to the life and work of Teso paramount chief Emorimor Augustine Osuban, and former ethics and integrity state minister Fr. Simon Lokodo.
Osuban died aged 88 on February 5 at Mulago National Referral Hospital after being bedridden for a while.
President Yoweri Museveni has granted an official burial for the revered leader.
While mourning his death, Museveni eulogised the Emorimor as a great advocate of peace and unity.
“His devotion to preaching about moral and cultural values was paramount. I, therefore, in the great memory of Emorimor Papa Augustine Lemukol, declare an official burial. My condolences to the Teso Kingdom, relatives, and well-wishers. May God grant his soul eternal repose,” he tweeted last Sunday.
Meanwhile, ICT and national guidance minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi said on Tuesday (February 8) that Parliament would also honour Lokodo.
“Father Lokodo was honoured by the State. All funeral expenses, including medical bills in Geneva and transportation of the body, were met by the Government. Over sh400m was released for this purpose,” he said.
“Parliament shall hold a special session to pay tribute to him,” added the minister.
Lokodo was a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission at the time of his death at the University Hospital of Geneva in Switzerland.
He succumbed to coronavirus on January 28 while on official duty leading a delegation from the UHRC at the 40th Session of the Universal Periodic Review.
“‘He will be missed”
President Museveni said he had received the news of Lokodo’s death “with a heavy heart”, noting that the late served the nation gallantly as ethics and integrity state minister.
Museveni recalled that during his time as minister, Lokodo’s firmness against immorality and his desire to enforce culture exceedingly stood out.
“I am pained! He will be missed,” he tweeted.
Lokodo was laid to rest on Tuesday (February 8) at his home in Kapedo in Karenga district.
Baryomunsi said his late colleague was supporting many disadvantaged young people and orphans with education.”Ugandans will miss him for his firmness against immorality,” he said.
Opposition MPs to attend
The Opposition MPs, who are currently on a boycott of parliamentary sessions (plenary), have announced that they will show up to honour the Emorimor.
“We will attend today’s plenary to pay tribute to Emorimor Osuban because this is not about the State, but Parliament of Uganda. We all love to pay our last respects to the fallen statesman. Our boycott shall resume in subsequent sessions as resolved,” Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, tweeted.
On February 3, Mpuuga and his group walked out of the plenary session that was presided over by Deputy Speaker Anita Among in protest alleged torture and other human rights violations in the country by security operatives.