President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has assured the family of the late Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Jacob Oulanyah, that government will support them to continue the work that the late Speaker had started.

“We shall support you so that you continue the good work of Oulanyah,” Museveni said.

The President was today, April 6, 2022, speaking to mourners at a state funeral service for Oulanyah at Kololo Independence Grounds led by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, The Most Rev. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu.

Museveni commended the late Omoro County MP for having used his talents well while on earth and promised to support Jacob Oulanyah Education Trust Fund that has been set up to educate the former Speaker’s children and others who depended on him.

“Government will contribute to that Fund so that the family continues,” the President said.

Earlier, the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among informed the President that during a special session to honour the works of the late Speaker, Parliament resolved to contribute 554 million shillings to the Oulanyah Education Fund and designated March 24 of every year to have a Jacob Oulanyah Memorial Lecture.

“Your Excellency, Sir, we want to promise you, I and my Deputy Speaker, we know you had a lot of hopes in the 11th Parliament. We will not disappoint you. We will work and finish the mission that Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah has left behind,” Speaker Among said.

According to President Museveni, among the many good things Oulanyah did was to unite the people of Northern Uganda which had been messed up by bad politics that prevailed in the region since 1966, created by leaders themselves despite efforts by the NRM to unite Ugandans.

He said this led to depopulating West Nile region where about 500,000 people fled to Congo and South Sudan

“However, recently when Oulanyah became NRM Vice Chairperson, in a very short time, he seems to have deepened this unity in the North which we had tried but not achieved as much as it seems he had created in the short time he was there. I need to salute Oulanyah and commend him as an example to you people,” he noted.

The President blasted opportunists who think Oulanyah was speaker of Northern Uganda alone and not the whole Uganda despite the overwhelming support given to him by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

“Oulanyah was not a Speaker of the North. He was a Speaker of Uganda. NRM supported him because he was a good cadre. We supported him because of his Patriotism and Pan Africanism not because of clans,” he said.

H.E Museveni called upon Ugandans to take good care of themselves because “health is wealth but also a weapon of struggle”.

He described Oulanyah’s death as a big loss to the nation saying he was a rising star and the country was going to benefit a lot from him.

“I extend condolences to the family of the late Jacob Oulanyah and to all Ugandans.”

The Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo appealed to Ugandans to disclose to the right people whenever they fall sick so that they are helped where possible.

“If my brother had been more open with his malady, maybe, maybe, we would not be gathered here today. It is very human to be sick. Once we know we have these ailments, the right thing to do is submit ourselves to the people who treat us,” he said.

He thanked President Museveni for swiftly swinging into action to try and save the life of the fallen Speaker.

The Minister of Health, Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng, revealed that the immediate cause of death of the former Speaker was multiple organ failure.

“The heart, lungs, liver and kidney all failed,” she said, adding that there were also other contributory conditions which included lymphatic system depletion.

The Minister for the Presidency, Hon. Milly Babalanda, urged the new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Among, to uphold the legacy which Oulanyah left. Babalanda said that when Oulanyah crossed from UPC to NRM, he did not look behind and did it with one heart.

Oulanyah’s children, on behalf of the family, appreciated the President and Mama Janet Museveni for supporting their father not only in his political aspirations but also when his health became critical.

“Though overwhelmed and grieved, I request that you to join us, not to mourn but to celebrate a man whose life was dedicated to his family, community, party, country and his God,” said Andrew Ojok, Oulanyah’s son.

The ceremony was attended by the Vice President, H.E Rtd Maj. Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, senior Government officials and the top leadership of the NRM party, Members of Parliament and invited guests from within and outside the country.

Rt. Hon. Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah, the 56-year-old former Speaker of the 11th Parliament, died in the United States on March 20.

He was also Omoro County MP first between 2001-2006 and 2011 till his death. He will be laid to rest at his ancestral home at Lalogi village in Omoro district on April 8, which will also be observed as a public holiday countrywide.