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Politicians clash at burial of MP's father

By Godfrey Ojore

Added 8th August 2016 10:00 AM

LC5 Serere Joseph Opit Okojo set the stage when he attacked the opposition for failing to concede defeat

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Pallbearers carry the casket containing the remains of Vincent Omusei.

LC5 Serere Joseph Opit Okojo set the stage when he attacked the opposition for failing to concede defeat

Politicians on Saturday clashed during the burial of Mzee Vincent Omusei the father of Serere woman MP Hellen Adoa over proposal to amend the Land Act.

They also disagreed over the recent nullification of Adoa's election by Soroti High Court over voter bribery and intimidation.

Mourners were stunned when politicians turned the burial into a political rally.

LC5 Serere Joseph Opit Okojo set the stage when he attacked the opposition for failing to concede defeat and instead running to courts of law to interfere with the Adoa’s victory.

Alice Alaso of FDC and Stephen Ochola of Serere County lost to NRM's Adoa and Patrick Okabe respectively.

Alaso petitioned Adoa's victory and won but the latter has appealed the ruling. Okabe who was equally dragged to court over lack of academic papers is waiting for the ruling set for this month.

"For those who have come here as doubting Thomas, see for yourselves and go and tell those people that Adoa is the woman MP for Serere. If we had elections today Adoa would win by over 90%," Opit said.

He went ahead to describe the opposition as lions who led Serere in the past 15 years without tangible results on the ground.

"We have a problem in Serere my lord bishops, God sent us Henry Odeta as LC5 but his life was cut short when death robbed him from us. God again sent us MP Peter Koluo but the evil made him lame and after that a team of lions whose work was eating descended in for 15 years.

ulius cen speaking as other s all from  look on at the funeral hoto by odfrey jore Julius Ocen speaking as other MPs all from NRM look on at the funeral. Photo by Godfrey Ojore

 

Now, God this year sent us Adoa, the dove of Serere, a woman with a big heart but again the evil has come in to interfere, this time round we shall pray to break the spirits of evil," Opit said amidst cheers from mourners.

President Yoweri Museveni was represented by the government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, while the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga was represented by Kumi woman MP Monica Amoding.

Both Alaso and Ochola were not at the burial on unknown reasons though many politicians in Teso both who lost in the February elections and the winners attended.

However the FDC mobilizer in Teso Odea Apedel expressed dismay upon the decision to call the opposition lions.

"It's unfortunate for a leader at that level to use such language at a funeral where politics should not have been discussed. However as FDC we are not shaken by NRM because we have the support of the people," Odea said.

When the time came for MPs to speak, the Kapelebyong County MP Julius Ocen, an independent who formerly contested for UPC party presidency, but lost to Jimmy Akena, attacked government on the proposal to amend the Land Acquisition Act.

Ocen in his remarks accused government of having intentions to grab the land from people an issue he said government has been planning for long.

pit kojo 5 erere  and the chairpersons of oroti and ukedea lay wreaths on the casket hoto by odfrey jore Opit Okojo LC5 Serere (L) and the chairpersons of Soroti and Bukedea lay wreaths on the casket. Photo by Godfrey Ojore

 

"That proposal to amend the Land Acquisition Act is very dangerous to the people of Uganda, I am calling upon you the people of Teso and Acholi to stand firm and defend your land," Ocen said.

NRM MPs who stood next to him started booing him saying Ocen was spreading lies to the people but Ocen ignored and continued.

"Don't be deceived by that proposal. Government wants to remove land from you," Ocen said.

That statement did not go well with Okabe the host MP who also doubles as the chairperson of Teso Parliamentary Group. He grabbed the microphone from the master of ceremony to respond to Ocen's claims.

"Please let me respond, I can't see Ocen poison my people and I watch. That is how amendments of law come in Parliament; the cabinet discusses it and sends to Parliament. Let Ocen wait for it to come to Parliament we are the majority," Okabe said.

When Nankabirwa took to the stage she started with the politics of Serere assuring that their issues are being taken care of.

"Don't panic; be believers don't be like those people crying in the boat when Jesus was with them. God knew that Adoa would be taken to court for a reason," Nankabirwa said.

She explained that the opposition which has faulted the judiciary for favouring NRM is the same judiciary that ruled in their favour.

"I am not losing sleep because Adoa's win is reflected in the structures. I saw the chairman introducing NRM councillors who have not been taken to court over rigging," she added.

ankabirwa handing over sh20m from resident useveni to doa hoto by odfrey jore Nankabirwa handing over sh20m from President Museveni to Adoa. Photo by Godfrey Ojore

 

On the proposal to amend the Land Acquisition Act, Nankabirwa urged Ocen to concentrate on rebuilding his UPC party which she said is in tatters.

"I want to advise Ocen who was speaking things which were not relevant to this occasion to concentrate organizing his UPC. Some of the UPC leaders have joined President Museveni," Nankabirwa said.

The President in his message said he knew the late for his contribution to the church and education.

He said Omusei was a patriot who treasured education in Teso region. He contributed sh20m in cash towards burial expenses.

Speaking on behalf of the family Hellen Adoa described her father as a loving and hardworking man.

Late Omusei died of hernia at the age of 75. He was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Olep village, Kakuja parish in Kyere sub-county, Serere district.

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