By Godfrey Ojore
HUNDREDS of people gathered at Pentecostal Revival Ministries (PRM) church Kacumbala in Bukedea district to witness former Buganda Road Court chief magistrate Hensley Ephraim Okalebo wed Margaret Akia whom he has been staying with for the last 38 years.
Bishop Besileri Idakun of PRM church presided over the wedding of a 76 year old Okalebo and Akia aged 56. Unlike the past weddings, this one was special in Bukedea considering the advanced age of the couple.
Throughout the church service and reception the couple wore a board smile like they were meeting for the first time!
“This marriage is a confirmation of a strong relationship and what makes me so grateful is that I have paid the greatest debt I had with God and the church,” a happy Okalebo said after wedding.
Hensley Ephraim Okalebo playing hide and seek game with his bride Magaret Akia during a photoshoot after the wedding. Photo by Godfrey Ojore
Okalebo who once held the acting position of the High court judge said he has left ‘prison’ life yet he served as the legal adviser of the PRM church in Uganda.
“I am no longer in prison. Imagine I have been advising Reverends, pastors yet I am not wedded. Now that I have finished I am able to speak with my head up,” Okalebo said.
The bride on other hand was full joy completing the last sacrament in the church calendar that has been her dream since they met.
“I am very happy for this day that I have been praying for to come. It’s a special day that every woman prays for, and that it has come to pay I return glory to God who has made it possible,” Akia said.
Bishop Idakun in his sermon blamed the rampant breakdown of families to lack of stable families that are not wedded where parents fight daily. He also attributed the continuous spread of HIV/AIDS to polygamous marriages.
Bishop Besileri Idakun (right) wed the couple at PRM church Kachumbala. Photo by Godfrey Ojore
“When you wed, HIV/AIDS shall not find you but when you’re in polygamous affair there are chances of you contracting that deadly disease. I am happy for Okalebo who has married in church because he will not get AIDS,” Bishop Idakun preached.
The couple met in 1976, and God blessed them with one son and four grandchildren. They hosted their guests that included Judge Margaret Oguli, lawyers, political and business men and women.
Bishop Idakun hailed Okalebo for the decision to wed at their age saying there is no age limit given to anyone who aspires to wed.
“Being it old or young, God is calling on you to come before him. What is that thing holding you from wedding? This is the time, don’t wait anymore,” Bishop Idakun said.
Okalebo called upon people of his age to wed saying age should not hinder them from inheriting the kingdom of God.
Bishop Idakun and other church leaders pray for the newlywed couple. Photo by Godfrey Ojore
“Those who feel they are old and they can’t come up, I think they are being misled,” Okalebo told New Vision after the wedding.
When asked about the honeymoon, the couple said they will think about it after their visitors leave home.
“Do we need it again? I sought that is for you the young not who are old, but we shall think about it later when we finish hosting our guests,” Mama Akia said.
Grace Idakun the wife of bishop Idakun was the matron and John Emejeit a retired East African Community officer was the best man.
Okalebo was elected to represent Bukedea County at the Constituent Assembly (CA) for the drafting of the 1995, constitution.
He retired from judiciary in 1992 and returned to start his law firm in Kumi where he is a practicing lawyer.
''I have paid the great debt I had with God'' Okalebo