By Annet Anita Among
Hon. Members, it is with a heavy heart, that I welcome you to this Special Sitting. This sitting is pursuant to section 6 (h) of the Administration of Parliament Act, 1997 that mandates the Parliamentary Commission to do all that is necessary for the wellbeing of Members and Staff.
On Monday, 19th December 2022, the country woke up to a dark day with the tragic news of the sudden death of Hon. Bishop Okabe Patrick and his dear wife, Christine in a fatal motor accident in Budaka.
We gather here today in grief and sorrow to send off a distinguished colleague, God fearing and respectful legislator, passionate believer in the Almighty, peacemaker par excellence, a voice of reason, a remarkable leader, and a great statesman.
Hon. Members, it is the second successive week in which we gather here to pay our respects to departed eminent citizens. Whereas death is an inevitable journey for all of us, its suddenness leaves a lot of grief and pain amongst the living.
In Hon. Okabe, this Parliament and the Nation lost a pragmatic, charismatic and God-fearing leader who spearheaded the tangible transformation of the lives of the masses.
Hon. Okabe’s death is a reminder that we create our own legacies. You will be remembered by your deeds. (2 Corinthians 9:9 states that “they share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever”. Good deeds create an immortal legacy.
I implore you all to be agents of transformation so that you are remembered in glowing terms the way we gather here today to remember Hon. Okabe.
May we rise to observe a moment of silence in honour of Hon. Okabe, his wife Christine, Hon. Moses Olemukan, The District Chairperson, Bukedea, Mr. Jasper Okello, the brother of the Government Chief Whip, Mrs. Stella Asengo, the mother of Hon. Herbert Ariko, MP Soroti City East.
Hon. Members, the death of Hon. Okabe in a motor accident is a reminder to all of us of the public health concern that road safety is, especially given its role in causing mortality, injury, morbidity, trauma and disability.
As we bid farewell to Hon. Okabe, let us propagate the faith, love, peace, goodwill, and values he generally stood for. Hon. Okabe will be dearly missed.
On behalf of the Legislature and on my own behalf, I commiserate with the family of Hon. Okabe, the people of Serere and Teso in general and the entire nation and pray that the Lord comforts the bereaved family and grants Hon. Okabe and his wife, eternal rest.
The writer is the Speaker of the 11th Parliament of Uganda.