Speaker Anita Among has implored the Church to consistently offer prayers for the well-being of the 11th Parliament.
Speaking during the memorial service held to pay tribute to the late Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament, Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal, at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, Among emphasized that the 11th Parliament has endured the loss of four sitting Members of Parliament within a span of two and a half years.
“I call upon the Church to pray for us, Members of Parliament. In instances where we may have erred, we seek forgiveness,” Among expressed.
In March 2022, the Parliament mourned the passing of Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, and in the same year, Hon. Patrick Okabe, the Member of Parliament for Serere County, lost his life in a road accident. In May 2023, the State Minister for Labour, Hon. Charles Engola Mac-Odwogo Okello, met a tragic end at the hands of his own bodyguard.
Among reiterated that Cecilia Ogwal was not only an advocate for women’s rights but also a dedicated ambassador for the health sector. “She embodied nationalism, patriotism, and was a fervent prayer warrior. Her commitment to family values was evident and I recall her courageous stand against same-sex marriage during our deliberations on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” Among remarked.
Rev. Onesimus Asiimwe, the Bishop of North Kigezi Diocese, who was representing the Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu said the late Ogwal was a spiritual legislator who prepared for eternal rest even when she was still alive.
“She was a very strong voice for the voiceless and marginalized girl child…Hon. Cecilia was a great legislator, she was eloquent and whenever she took to the Floor of Parliament, she ably articulated the needs of her constituency,” Rev. Asiimwe said.
He added that the late had rare boldness and yet remained a humble and submissive wife and a mother.
“Having all this package in one person is a gift from God…In short, Hon. Cecilia has gone too soon,” he said adding that the fallen legislator upheld family values and the sanctity of marriage and urged the family to keep her legacy alive.
“To the children, take on the baton and run along with her legacy,” he said.
On behalf of the women’s movement, Hon. Miria Matembe, a leading women’s rights activist and former Member of Parliament expressed pain for losing Hon. Ogwal whom she described as the shoulder of hope for many.
“This is the only person who has lived according to Uganda’s national anthem-For God and my Country. She succeeded at all three levels; lived by Godly principles, succeeded at the public level and even family level,” she said.
Mzee Lameck Ogwal, the husband of the late Ogwal remembers his wife as a great woman and mother who never entertained any spirit of disobedience.
“At one time while she was at Parliament, she asked the Speaker to close the debate because it was past 7pm and she needed to go and feed her husband. She was not only a good wife but a great mother,” Lameck said.
Dr. Rosemary Alwoc, the deceased’s first child, said her mother took a lot of guidance from her Christian faith about love and family.
“She was a very loving mother; she adopted children and even looked after kids from the extended family. The love she learnt from her faith was translated into her family,” she said.
Ogwal’s casket will be transported to Dokolo District for another church service at her home in Adok Sub-County and thereafter, a night vigil. She will be laid to rest on Saturday in Kole District.