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Pader CAO halts contribution for Oulanyah burial after backlash

A copy of Pader CAO retraction letter. PHOTO URN

Pader, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Pader Chief Administrative Officer Alex Chelimo has retracted a directive for a mandatory cash contribution towards the burial of former Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah. He says government will cater for burial expenses as provided by the law.

On Tuesday, Chelimo wrote a circular to all the Town Councils and Sub counties to make a contribution of sh500,000 Shillings and sh300,000 respectively as condolences for the burial of Oulanyah. He said that the contribution should be separate from the current community contribution being made and be channelled through the Chief Finance Officer.

The directive however didn’t go well with the Sub-county and Town council leaders and a section of the public prompting Chelimo to retract it.

He told URN in an interview on Friday that the lower local government leaders misunderstood his directive and thought the contribution was to be made from the sub-county and town council votes.

He says that the circular was to ensure that the town council and Sub-county leaders mobilize contributions from their staff, partners, and business community following a position agreed upon by the district executive committee.

Chelimo says part of the contribution was to be taken as a condolence to the bereaved family of Oulanyah while the rest would cater for transportation of mourners from Pader to Omoro District. He says that the cash contribution has been terminated adding that mourners will now look for their own ways to reach the burial ground.

Support to Oulanyah’s Trust Fund

Leaders in the region have also called on well-wishers and stakeholders to make financial support towards Oulanyah’s Trust Fund, an initiative endorsed to carry on the legacy of the former Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah. The leaders under their umbrella body, the Joint Acholi Sub-Region Forum recently approved proposals by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to establish the fund.

Omoro District Chairperson Douglas Peter Okellosays the trust fund will be used to support the education of More than 150 learners and dependents who were being helped by Oulanyah. He notes that leaders within and outside the region have been informed about the initiative being coordinated by Justice Owiny-Dollo.

Okello says that in Omoro District, the leaders resolved that the contribution is made voluntarily by various stakeholders of the society. He adds that they have also agreed that some of the contributions be made by the various Village Loan Saving Associations-VSLA citing that there are more than 6,600 VSLA groups in the district.

Emmanuel Orach, Nwoya District Chairperson however says they haven’t yet received communication on contributing funds for the Jacob Oulanyah Trust Fund. Oulanyah, 56 died at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington on March 20th where he had been receiving treatment since February.

His body was returned today aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane that touched ground at Entebbe International Airport at 2 Pm. The Casket containing his remains was received by Vice President Jessica Alupo, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, cabinet Ministers, friends, family members, and legislators. Oulanyah’s body will be laid to rest at his Ancestral Home in Ayom Lony village in Lalogi Sub-county, Omoro District on April 8.

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