By Moses Walubiri
PARLIAMNET will Tuesday afternoon pay tribute to the fallen former West Budama MP, William Oketcho, with a special session in his honour.
One of the shining stars in the eighth parliament, Oketcho succumbed to kidney related complications at Mulago hospital late last week.
According to the Spokesperson of Parliament, Helen Kawesa, Oketcho’s body is expected at parliament “at 10am before a special sitting in his honour at 2pm.”
According to the chairperson of the burial organizing committee, Dr. Tanga Odoi, a requiem mass will be held at Christ the King Church in Kampala on Tuesday morning with the burial taking place on Friday at his home in Paya sub-county, in Tororo district.
A former chairperson of the influential Budget Committee of parliament, Oketcho was once rated one of the best performing legislators with the parliamentary scorecard rating him at 97% and 95% in committees and plenary respectively.
Oketcho was at the centre of the landmark case in which over 70 MPs in the eighth parliament lost their seats for taking part in the NRM preliminaries ahead of the 2011 polls.
The Supreme Court ruled that the MPs that had changed from representing parties to Independents and Vice versa before the end of their term were in parliament illegally after nomination.
Oketcho’s ‘woes’ began after he had been trounced current West Budama MP, Fox Odoi, in NRM primaries, leading to a constitution petition by a one George Owor impugning the constitutionality of his victory in light of Article 83 of the constitution.
Article 83 bars MPs from crossing to other parties midway through their term, with those seeking to do so obligated to resign their seats.
Born in 1949, Oketcho graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA from Makerere University and University of University of Nairobi respectively.
Before joining the rough and tumble of politics, Oketcho worked as a Director Privatization Unit and later as Board Chairman National Water and Sewerage Corporation after losing his seat.
Oketcho was also among the 19 survivors of the deadly 1988 Uganda Airlines crash at Roma-Fiumicino Airport in Rome that claimed 33 lives.