February 23, 2024

FDC, parliament clash over Cecilia Ogwal burial

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Cecilia Barbara Atim Ogwal

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Parliament has ordered the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party to back off from organizing funeral arrangements for the former Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal. 

Ogwal, 77, who was a member of FDC died on Thursday this week in a hospital in India following a short illness. Shortly after, FDC issued a tentative funeral programme to run for seven days before the deceased’s final send-off. Without revealing the actual dates, the programme indicated that mourners would gather at her home in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb; then in Adok in Dokolo in Lira city and Alito in Kole district awaiting the arrival of her body.

Upon the arrival of the body at Entebbe, it would depart for Mulago hospital for a postmortem and thereafter to A Plus Funeral Management home and later be transported to All Saints Cathedral in Kampala for a funeral service and thereafter to her home in Bugolobi for a vigil.

The party also indicated that on the third day, the body will be taken to parliament for a special sitting to pay tribute and thereafter transported to Dokolo via Soroti for a joint council meeting at Dokolo district local council to be followed by a vigil at Adok.

FDC indicated that Ogwal’s body will depart for Adok in Lira city on the 5th day for church service at St Augustine church to be followed by a night vigil at Senior Quarters and thereafter the body to her family home in Alito, Kole district for another service, vigil, and burial.

However, parliament’s director of communication and public affairs, Chris Obore slammed FDC for issuing such a hasty programme, adding that the burial of the late Ogwal is the responsibility of parliament.

“Please disregard the purported burial programme released by the FDC on its social media platforms. The speaker of parliament together with the family, will release the funeral arrangements,” Obore said in a statement.

Adding, “We urge the FDC to observe the bare minimum of respect and decency and not vulgarise the final journey of the hugely respected Hon. Ogwal.”

According to the speaker of parliament Anita Among, Ogwal’s body will arrive in the country on Sunday at 2.10 pm aboard Emirates before departing for Mulago hospital and then A-Plus Funeral home. On Monday, the body will be taken to parliament for viewing and a special sitting at 12.00 pm. She’s set to be buried next Saturday.

Ogwal has been a member of the FDC since 2011. She contested and won the Dokolo Woman MP seat following her exit from the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).

She was a member of parliament’s budget committee and the committee on physical infrastructure in charge of overseeing and covering policy matters related to lands, housing, urban development, works and transport, and physical planning. 

She becomes the 4th serving MP of the 11th parliament to pass away. Others are Serere County representative, Bishop Patrick Okabe who passed away in an accident that also claimed his life in December 2022, former speaker and Omoro County MP Jacob Oulanyah who died in a US hospital in March 2022, and Charles Okello Macodwogo Engola of Oyam North Constituency who was shot dead by his own bodyguard over labour related issues last year in May.

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