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Parliament eulogizes slain Minister Engola

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament on Tuesday eulogized the late the Minister of State for Labour, Employment, and Industrial Relations, Retired Colonel, Charles Patrick Okello Engola Macodwogo. Charles Patrick Okello Engola was allegedly shot dead by his bodyguard, Wilson Sabiti on 2 May 2023 at his residence in Kyanja. Wilson Sabiti reportedly turned the barrel of the gun against himself.

Colonel Engola who died at the age of 64 was also the Member of Parliament for Oyam County North in Oyam District.

The casket containing the Minister’s body draped in the Ugandan flag arrived at Parliament shortly after 10:00 am. It was ushered to the lobby by the Officers of the UPDF who were accompanied by the UPDF band.

The body was received by the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among and other officials of Parliament. The body lay in state for viewing by the legislators, government officials, family, and relatives before a special afternoon sitting of the House presided over by  Anita Among.

Robinah Nabbanja, the Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business moved a motion for a resolution of the House to pay tribute to the fallen Minister.   In her motion, Premier Nabbanja described Engola as ‘a war hero’ who answered the ‘highest call of serving his country.

David Livingstone Zijjan, the Dean of the Independent Members of Parliament who seconded the Premier’s motion observed that the late Engola will be remembered for fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA rebels to restore peace and harmony in Northern Uganda.

The Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga questioned why the country continues to record unending gun violence despite heavy investment in Close Circuit Television Cameras – CCTV and after the fingerprinting of firearms in the country.

Mpuuga said President Museveni’s 10-point strategy on defeating armed terror seems not to be working as more Ugandans die of gun violence.

He cited the most recent murder of social media critic, Ibrahim Tusubira aka Jajja Ichuli. Ibrahim Tusubira was shot dead by an unknown gunman over the weekend.

Hon. Anita Among condemned the brutal murder of the Minister by his bodyguard. She asked Ugandans to explore all possible means to amicably settle differences rather than resorting to violence or illegal means.

Anita Among also her displeasure with a section of Ugandans whom she said to celebrate the misfortune of those they don’t agree with.  She said it is very uncultured and very immoral for one to jubilate on the death of anyone. She said beyond our different political and religious affiliations we are all humans.

One of the ten army representatives to Parliament, Lt General James Mugira in his submission while on the floor of Parliament said the assignation of a minister can not be reduced to an issue of low salary and allowances as alleged following the death of his former colleague in the Force. He noted that while there are issues to be addressed, indiscipline should not be condoned.

“Let us not sow seeds of hatred, fear, animosity, and anarchy. “In the military, we don’t speculate that is why before any military operation, we carry out reconnaissance on the enemy to establish the exact enemy strength in terms of personnel and equipment, the enemy intentions and locations. I therefore enjoin and beseech Ugandans out there to stop speculation. An official board of inquiry has been set up, let’s wait for its findings,” said Mugira

Gender and labor Minister, Betty Amongi hailed the late for having started an effort to streamline the externalization of labor export.

The Government will on Wednesday, 10th May 2023 hold a special funeral service for the late Col (Rtd) Okello Charles Patrick Engola Macodwogo at Kololo Ceremonial grounds starting at 8:30 am. President Museveni is expected to attend.

Charles Engola served in various capacities first as the commander of the 501 UPDF Brigade that flashed out the LRA rebels in Northern Uganda in early 2000. He later joined politics and was elected Chairperson LC 5 of Oyam District.

The Late Engola also was appointed by President Museveni to serve as the Minister of State for Defense and Veteran Affairs and the Minister of State for Labour, Employment, and Industrial Relations, a portfolio he held until the time of his sudden demise.

He has been aMember of Parliament for Oyam County North since 2016. He is survived by widow Joyce Engola and eight children. Engola will be laid to rest on Saturday 13 May 2023 at his ancestral home in Iceme Sub-County in Oyam District.

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