Esther Akello, wife of the late MP Cyrus Amodoi Imalingat during the requiem mass for the late Imalingat at Christ the King Church on March 17, 2017. Photos by Nicholas Kajjoba
When a man dies and leaves behind a young, beautiful widow, society expects her to remarry and start a new life. But this is not what Esther Akello, wife of the late MP Cyrus Amodoi Imalingat has in mind.
Citing the story of Naume and Ruth in the Bible, Akello assured Imalingat’s relatives and mourners gathered for the requiem mass for the late Imalingat at Christ the King Church that although she is still young, she will remain faithful and raise her children.
“My husband has left me a young woman but I assure you that I will not leave. I will be like Ruth in the Bible. Her mother in-law asked her to go and find another husband but she refused. I promise that I will not let him down,” she vowed.
With two young children and numerous orphans, Akello appealed to Imalingat’s friends and relatives to stand and pray with her raised them.
“Please my husband’s friends, Parliamentarians, relatives, don’t leave me alone. Help me raise the children and the orphans. I am not saying you bring me food, but always call and find out how we are doing,” she said.
Just like a young couple, Akello described the late husband as a loving, kind and humble who was always there for them and the people of Toroma, a Constituency he represented since 2011.
Several speakers including the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa and the children described the late Imalingat as a humble, honesty, prayerful and strategist man who believed in the wellbeing of others.
“I knew him as a humble and honest man. I was shocked when at one time; he was accused of vandalizing a bridge. I thank God that the truth came out and he was declared innocent,” former MP Francis Epetait said.
Speaking on behalf of the Teso Parliament Group, MP Patrick Okabe described his colleague as a humble man who was never ashamed of using public means despite the fact that he owned two cars.
This was in a way of explaining what has been trending on social media, with critics condemning the MP for using private means when Parliament spends over sh200m on each MP for cars.
“You cannot stop death from occurring. Whether you fly in the first class or economy, you will die. Imalingat had two cars but preferred to travel in Taxi. Let’s stop this kind of debate,” he said.
Imalingat died on Tuesday together with 11 others in a car accident involving three vehicles along the Kampala-Jinja highway.
Eyewitnesses said the Tuesday night accident happened when a truck headed for Kampala from Jinja lost control and rammed into two commuter taxis.
One of the taxis was travelling from Busia to Kampala while the other was reportedly moving in the opposite direction.
Nankabirwa also condemned such debates saying whether he was driving himself or he had borrowed a car, he would still.
However she remembered him as a humble, organized and prayerful man who joined Parliament at very young age.
“It is a tragedy for Parliament to lose two of its members within a period of one month. However we know this is the plan of God otherwise he would have intervened. He was a strategist who knew the risks of standing on NRM ticket during elections. He instead stood as independent and won,” she said.
She handed over a contribution of sh10m from President Yoweri Museveni.
The late Imalingat will be laid to rest on Sunday at his ancestral home in Magoro, Kanapo Village, Katakwi district.