Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders from the Teso sub-region on Sunday expressed disappointment over the failure by the government to accord former Minister, Hebron Omax Omeda a state burial.
The leaders, during the burial of Omeda at his home in Adipala village, Atiira sub county in Serere district, questioned why government remained silent on their requests to have Omeda’s remains taken to Parliament.
They noted that Omeda served government diligently, in different capacities, something worth recording in the Hansard.
Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Disaster and Preparedness noted that although Omeda ran to the bush under the Uganda Peoples’ Army, he surrendered as soon as he saw some sanity in government.
He also said that unlike other people decorated as heroes, Omeda remained faithful to government. He added that it was very unfortunate for government to ignore such a person.
Patrick Amuriat Oboi, the Forum for Democratic Change, FDC party president wondered why government didn’t consider giving Omeda state burial. He explained that Omeda served diligently in the NRM government.
Steven Ochola, the former MP for Serere County, who represented the family, said they were disappointed and felt betrayed when government declined to give Omeda state burial. He acknowledged that while President Museveni has been supporting Omeda especially in meeting his treatment costs, it was sad to abandon him at the last minute.
The Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Kirunda Kivejinja promised to table the concerns of the Teso leaders to cabinet for discussions.
Agnes Jaff Akiror, the State Minister for Teso Affairs told mourners that her efforts to have the remains of Omeda taken to Parliament were futile. She also revealed that the 25 million shillings promised by the government for the funeral was released late. Akiror handed over the money to the family during the burial.
Omeda, 73 died on Wednesday last week at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital after heart attack. He served as State Minister of Housing and health in charge general duties. He was a member of Constitutional assembly and also worked as RDC in the districts of Gulu, Soroti, Amuria and Serere.
Omeda was one of the leaders of the Uganda Peoples’ Army against the National Resistance Army in the 1980s but surrendered in 1992 and championed reconciling several other leaders including Col. William Omaria with government. He has been one of the sports promoter in Teso and key in the establishment of Iteso Cultural Union.