Monday, January 23, 2024
In a solemn ceremony on Monday evening, President Yoweri Museveni, accompanied by First Lady Janet Museveni, visited Parliament to pay tribute to the late Woman Representative for Dokolo District, Cecilia Atim Ogwal. Ogwal’s body lay in state in the foyer of the House’s South Wing building, where the President and First Lady laid wreaths on her casket.
Known for her distinctive high-pitched voice, assertiveness, and outspokenness, Cecilia Ogwal had a thriving political career spanning from 1996. Despite being a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), President Museveni praised her as a staunch defender of Uganda during her tenure in the African Parliament.
“When she was elected to the African Parliament, if you went there in South Africa, you would not know that she was not NRM,” President Museveni stated. “Outside there, she was a big defender of Uganda. You would not know whether she was not NRM. No. That one I also saw because I went there to address the Pan-African Parliament, and she was actually like the leader of the Ugandan group and she was very patriotic.”
President Museveni acknowledged that despite being a strong leader, Ogwal faced challenges within the political atmosphere. He criticized the divisive politics, describing it as “obukyayi,” where hatred and bigotry are created. However, he noted that Cecilia Ogwal was in the process of rejecting such politics, emphasizing that the initiators of such negativity are now becoming fewer.
During the tribute, Museveni also touched on Ogwal’s commitment to family, commending her for balancing a large family with her extensive involvement in politics. “I did not know that she had the time to have a big family but apparently, she was very active publicly but also privately,” he remarked, expressing gratitude for her significant contributions.
Cecilia Ogwal, who passed away on January 18 in India while receiving specialized medical care for cancer, leaves behind a legacy as a dedicated legislator. Survived by her husband Lameck Ogwal, seven biological children, and other adopted ones, she had served Uganda since 1996. The President concluded his eulogy by acknowledging her family’s education achievements, noting that all her children are well-educated.