Tempers flared and fists clenched this afternoon in Kamuda Sub County in the Eastern District of Soroti, as mourners attending the funeral of former Parliamentarian Peter Omollo, rejected President Yoweri Museveni’s Condolence message.
The former Soroti County Mp who passed away last week was laid to rest by hundreds of mourners amid incredible drama.
It all started when former Serere County Mp Stephen Ochola asked the Teso Affairs Minister Agnes Akiror to deliver the President’s message to the mourners.
Minister Akiror after receiving the microphone however, went on the offensive and lambasted Mr. Ochola the MC for breaking protocol by inviting her — the President’s representative and therefore the chief mourner – to speak before other people such as the FDC Chairman Wasswa Biriggwa and party President Mugisha Muntu.
Mrs Okirol felt she was supposed to be the final speaker.
But when she pointed out her frustration, mourners were incensed and they started heckling loudly and demanded that she is removed from the floor.
Some of the mourners could be heard shouting that the person that Minister Okirol represented didn’t respect people’s rights after all.
The growing noises were immediately heeded to by Mr. Ochola who rushed and grabbed the microphone from the Minister.
As she tried to explain her case, Minister Akiror was tasked by the MC to explain why the late Omollo like any other former MP was not accorded state burial or laid in State at Parliament.
It should be noted that Omollo was one of the most vocal MPs in the 8th and 9th Parliament and also partook in the drafting of the country’s National Constitution of 1995.
“If the president’s representative cannot answer these questions then her condolence message is not required,” he said as the mourners cheered in approval.
The exchange of words continued until some police officers intervened and talked calmness into the rival parties.
Former FDC Secretary General Hon Alice Alaso who is also the deputy party president for Eastern Uganda used the opportunity to attack President Yoweri Museveni who she accused of double standards.
“We have people in leadership who don’t know or don’t care about their roles,” remarked Alaso, wondering why the president couldn’t afford Omollo a decent send off for his services to the country.
Meanwhile, Mike Mukula the NRM vice chairperson Eastern Uganda pleaded with the FDC officials and livid mourners to put their political differences aside and work together for the country’s good.
The low-toned Mukula said Uganda needs all its citizens and citizen needs Uganda.
“What stops me from taking a cup of tea with Dr. Besigye, Gen. Muntu or other opposition figures if we are discussing issues of national security?,” he wondered.
“Let’s learn to separate politics from development.”
Later when calm returned, the burial service continued for the departed former MP, who succumbed last Thursday to pneumonia in Kampala.