The government of Uganda has accorded a state funeral to the fallen Woman MP for Dokolo District Hon. Cecilia Ogwal who has on Saturday been laid to rest at her marital home in Kole district in Northern Uganda.
Vice President Jessica Alupo was the chief mourner representing HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who hailed the deceased for being patriotic and working for the progress of her country.
Ogwal died on 18 January 2024 in India where she had gone for specialized cancer treatment.
Unlike in the past when some Ugandans across the political divide or among ordinary citizens have come up to mock or in jubilation when some prominent person died, Cecilia Ogwal has been mourned by the opposition, the independent in Parliament, the women of Uganda, President Museveni and his ruling NRM party.
Cecilia sharply opposed and critiqued Museveni and his policies each time she had the opportunity to do so.
One time she demanded a medal from her political nemesis, Museveni saying she had played a role in ensuring that the rights of women, the girl child were upheld.
The Leader of Opposition dubbed Nakawa West legislator Joel Ssenyonyi praised the deceased for keeping her name clean and free from corruption and other terrible vices that hinder the country’s development.
Who Was Ogwal?
Cecilia Atim Ogwal was born in Dokolo District, British Protectorate of Uganda, on 6 December 1946. She attended local schools in Uganda.
In 1967, at the age of 21, she was admitted to the University of East Africa in Nairobi (now known as the University of Nairobi) to study for a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She graduated from Nairobi University in 1970. She also held a Certificate in Human Resources Management from what was then called the Institute of Public Administration but is now known as the Uganda Management Institute.
Furthermore, she held two other certificates; one in Christian-Based Values from the Haggai Institute, Singapore, and the other in Public-Private Partnership, from Australia.
From 1979 until 1980, Ogwal worked at the Uganda Embassy in Kenya, as the Liaison Officer for Returning Ugandan Refugees. From 1980 until 1981, she worked as the Operations Manager at the Uganda Advisory Board of Trade. In 1982, she was one of the founders of the Housing Finance Bank, working there until 1984. She served as the Chairperson of Uganda Development Bank, from 1981 until 1986.
She became involved in Ugandan politics, serving as the Acting Secretary General of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) from 1985 to 1992. In 1994, she was part of the Constituent Assembly which drafted and promulgated the 1995 Ugandan Constitution.
She remained a high-ranking official in the UPC political party until 2004.
During the 2006 parliamentary elections, she lost her Lira Municipality seat to Jimmy Akena, the son of UPC founder Milton Obote. In 2011, Ogwal contested and won the Women’s Representative seat for the Dokolo District. This time, she switched political parties and ran as a full member of the Forum for Democratic Change party.
Ogwal was a married mother of seven natural children and several adopted ones.
Ogwal was a parliamentary Committee of Physical Infrastructure member overseeing and covering policy matters related to Lands, Housing, Urban Development, Works and Transport, and Physical Planning.
She was also a member of the budget committee.
Meanwhile, we can’t end this without telling you that in 1969, at the age of 23, she won the “Miss Uganda” contest.