PRESIDENT MUSEVENI PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE CECILIA OGWAL, HAILS FALLEN LEGISLATOR FOR BEING PATRIOTIC AND INCORRUPTIBLE
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni on Monday, 22nd January 2024 paid tribute to the Late Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal, the Woman Member of Parliament for Dokolo District.
Hon. Ogwal, 77, who has been a Member of Parliament since 1996, breathed her last on 18th January 2024 in India after a short illness.
Attending a vigil to honour the fallen legislator at Parliament, President Museveni said he is saddened not to have fully worked together with Hon. Ogwal because of “politics of fragmentation”.
“I feel sad because of the politics of fragmentation. We couldn’t work together fully although we had similar qualities,” the President said.
“I have not worked optimally with Cecilia Ogwal, but I can tell you when I eventually met her I could see that she is a patriot.”
He advised Members of Parliament to always work together whenever there is an opportunity, especially on matters of national importance.
“Take this as a lesson, don’t miss opportunities to work together if there is an opportunity because now some of you are regretting why you didn’t work with her,” President Museveni emphasized.
He further recounted their encounter with Hon. Ogwal in the North while fighting the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) where one rebel- Vincent Otti rang the MP threatening to kill her if she did not support the rebels and reject the National Resistance Movement. He disclosed that Hon. Ogwal stood her ground and rejected the war.
“She will be remembered for her patriotism by refusing to succumb to the pressure of joining Vincent Otti and other rebels in their fight against us.”
The President also informed the MPs that during the processes of the Constituent Assembly, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) was telling its followers to reject the activities but Hon. Ogwal was able to advise them that what they were doing was wrong, saying that all people must participate irrespective of their political affiliations.
“That was the second time I noticed that she played an independent and positive role saying no! we may not be NRM but the people of Lango must participate, and they participated. The third one when she was elected to the African Parliament, if you went there to the African Parliament in South Africa, you wouldn't know that she was not NRM. Outside there she was a big defender of Uganda; she was very patriotic.”
He noted that Hon. Ogwal was a good leader whose contribution was suppressed by the bad atmosphere created by the politics of hatred.
“I want to thank all the leaders who are isolating that politics of hatred. Cecilia Ogwal was very much in that process of rejecting that politics of hatred. Akena, Betty Amongi of UPC, Mao of DP have rejected that. Those who are still in the politics of hatred are very few and we know them. You can imagine they even tried to sabotage this NAM,” President Museveni affirmed.
“Hon. Ogwal was a leader of development and definitely not corrupt. Even when she was in the parliamentary commission, you couldn’t hear any dirt on her. We celebrate her contribution towards the country, and we also celebrate her achievements like raising a big family, looking after her husband and educating her children,” he added.
President Museveni also lauded the fallen MP for her exceptional role in pacifying the Northern region which had been affected by the LRA insurgency and politics of hatred.
On her part, the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Anita Among thanked the President for granting the late an official burial which will include a gun salute.
“That means a lot for the people of Lango, for the people of Uganda, especially for a lady who always worked for this country,” she said.
She informed President Museveni that Parliament has lost a uniting factor in Hon. Ogwal.
“Whenever there was an issue in the house, the only uniting factor we had was Hon. Cecilia Ogwal. She was a nationalist and a mother to everybody. She put Uganda first before any political party. We thank God for her life,” the Speaker said.
At the time of her death, she was a member of the Committees on Physical Infrastructure and Budget.
She also served as Uganda's representative to the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and a Parliamentary Commissioner in the 10th Parliament.
The vigil was attended by among others, His Lordship the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja the Prime Minister, ministers and Members of Parliament.