By Chris Kiwawulo and Simon Masaba
‘Okello was an NRM elder who supported government programs- M7’
President Yoweri Museveni has described Stanley Okello, the fallen Dokolo district National Resistance Movement (NRM) elder, as a fighter against dictatorship, patriot and icon of wisdom.
Okello, the father to Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (CIID) boss, Grace Akullo, died on Monday morning (August 11) at Mulago hospital as medics were preparing to take him to the theatre for an operation on his left leg.
Museveni said, in Okello, the NRM had lost an icon of wisdom, a promoter, mentor and mobiliser.
“I received with great sadness the news of the passing on of late Mzee Stanley Okello, one of the elders in Dokolo district, an NRM supporter, and promoter of government programmes. I wish to extend condolences to his family, residents of Arwot Nyap village, Dokolo district and the entire region of Northern Uganda upon this sad loss,” Museveni said.
Security minister Muruli Mukasa read the President’s condolence message to the hundreds of mourners who turned up at All Saints Cathedral Nakasero in Kampala for Okello’s funeral service yesterday.
The director of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), Grace Akullo laying a wreath on the casket of her father Stanley Okello . PHOTO/Wilfred Sanya
The President described the late Okello as a developmental person with a vision for among other things, fighting dictatorship, poverty, disease, ignorance and illiteracy in society, citing the 1970s and 80s when unlike many prominent politically active citizens who went into exile, Okello did not run away from his people.
“Death has robbed us of an elder of great wisdom, a farmer, patriot, father and grandfather whose great wisdom and counsel was still required in the transformation process of our country. As a nation, we have lost a citizen of great personality who made outstanding contributions towards the development of society and nation in general,” Museveni eulogized.
Born in 1924 and married to the late Manjeri, Okello is survived by 18 children, 63 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
In 1944, he joined local police and because of his excellent work, he was absorbed by the administration police and he was in charge of tax collection.
Okello was a revenue collector in Lira district (currently Dokolo district), a job which he did diligently until he retired in 1994.
He then joined private business until 2008 when he got an accident that left his left leg fractured.
Police physician Moses Byaruhanga, who read the postmortem report, said Okello died of a chronic liver disease. “Even if he had been operated upon successfully, chances are that he would not survive because his liver had been damaged beyond repair. It had even started bleeding,” said Byaruhanga.
Tom Konamayi, who spoke as the head of the family, described Okello as a loving father who never discriminated against his children.
“He managed to educate all his children and most of them are now Masters degree holders,” Konamayi stated.
Mass celebrant, Rev. Canon Stephen Galenga urged mourners to always endeavor to leave a legacy like Okello has done.
“Do not expect us to speak good of you when your body is brought here if you built a bad CV (curriculum vitae) for yourself,” Galenga noted.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP), Okoth Ochola, who represented IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura sent condolences to the deceased’s family.
Kayihura was on official duty in Karamoja region from where he was to connect for burial in Dokolo on Friday.
Ochola said the Uganda Police Force would contribute sh5m towards burial expenses.
“Grace (Akullo), death is part of life, it starts by birth, marriage then you die. But you are lucky that you have buried your parents. It does not happen to many people. It is usually vice-versa (parents burying their children),” Ochola said.
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Museveni salutes fallen Dokolo NRM elder