Karamoja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There is a somber mood in Moroto town following the death of Edward Athiyo, an elder and renown leader in Karamoja Sub region. Athiyo was pronounced dead on Friday morning at Seguku Hospital after succumbing to cardiac attack.
The family says Athiyo has been battling diabetes and chronic pneumonia for 20 years, hypertension and obesity among other illnesses. Born on March 29th, 1928, Athiyo has been the light and pride of Karamoja sub region.
Many refer to him as an encyclopedia on the issues of Karamoja and Uganda at large. Athiyo was the first Karimojong to go to school and join public service. He is a three-time Minister. He served as Minister for Commerce and Industry and Minister of Information during Iddi Amin’s government.
He also served as Minister of Transport and Communication during the Tito Okello’s short-lived regime. Athiyo was first appointed District Commissioner during the British Government in Karamoja. He also served in other parts of Uganda including West Nile, Mbarara and Lira among others.
He was also Uganda’s Ambassador to Congo between 1971-1973. He was the first Karamoja South MP. He also held other positions including chairman of Uganda Chamber of Commerce, district service commission and others.
Athiyo is a businessman and proprietor of Kaban Mining Co. He has also been a farmer, politician and an icon of Modern Karamoja. Many remember him as great leader who enlightened Karamoja. Joseph Lomonyang, the Napak District Chairperson and Chairperson Uganda Local Government Association, says Athiyo’s death is a big loss to the region.
“Mzee Athiyo is one of our heroes in Karamoja. He is among the few Ugandans who went to Lancaster house London between 1961-1962 to negotiate for Uganda’s Independence. He is has been a living archive for Karamoja and we shall dearly miss him”, Lomonyang said in text.
Andrew Keem Napaja, the Moroto LC V chairperson, says there is a lot for Karamoja to pick from the life of the late Athiyo especially on education.
Nakapiripirit Woman MP, Esther Anyakun, says Karamoja has lost a prominent leader and father.
Athiyo’s son, Johnson Ngiro, says his father’s remains will be laid to rest at Nakaale Village in Namalu Sub County in Nakapiripirit district on Wednesday.