Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament Cecilia Atim Ogwal has said she is happy that the NRM government has finally recognized her outstanding service and loyalty to the country since independence.
Ogwal however says she will not be able to receive the medal in what she called an NRM-staged event adding that it would give her fresh memories of the brutal killings of several Lango, Acholi officers during the five year bush war that brought Museveni to power.
//Cue in: “NRM celebration may …
Cue out: … whom I struggled.”//
Ogwal was among the 3,500 people that Government last week awarded with the 50th Uganda Independence Medal in recognition of their service to the country. This was on Wednesday last week as the NRM government marked 27 years since it captured power in 1986. Other recipients of the same medal include President Yoweri Museveni, former presidents Sir Edward Muteesa, Dr Apollo Milton Obote, Professor Yusuf Lule, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa and General Tito Okello Lutwa among others.
Ogwal is a former long serving member of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), a party she served as Secretary General in the 1980s. Nicknamed the UPC Iron Lady for her anti NRM stance in the early years of the Museveni Presidency, Ogwal crossed to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in 2006 after disagreements in the party she supported since she was a child.
In an interview with URN at her home in Lira district on Friday, MP Ogwal said she will dedicate the award to her defunct Lira Boys, a militant youth group she formed in the early 1990s to campaign for during the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. Ogwal represented Lira Municipality in the CA, 6th and 7th Parliaments.
It is the same group that she claimed to have struggled with to beat what she termed as NRM political encroachment in Lango. Ogwal says she is also happy that the former President Obote was also awarded for his struggle.
//Cue in: “Am particularly honored …
Cue out: … to be easy.”//
She says she isn’t comfortable with only two people in Lango being recognized by the government, arguing that there are other deserving Ugandans like the late Major General David Oyite Ojok and former Oyam South MP Dr. Yefusa Okullo Epak who should have been recognized. Others she mentions are former lands minister Daniel Omara Atubo and Ben Wacha, the former Oyam North legislator.
According to her, Oyite Ojok, the former army Chief of Staff during the Obote II government, should be recognized for spearheading the struggle to uproot the brutal regime of Idi Amin in 1979.
//Cue in: “Am not comfortable …
Cue out: …cannot be forgotten.”//
Major General Oyite Ojok died in a plane crash in December 1983 as he monitored operations against the Museveni-led National Resistance Army rebels in Luweero. In 2010, Oyite Ojok was among the over 190 persons including President Museveni, who were honored with national medals for their contribution to the liberation of Uganda. Most of them were honored for the struggle against Idi Amin between 1971 and 1979.
According to Ogwal, other people who should have also been recognized include Joel Wacha Olwol, whom she described as the icon of civil service and a member of the presidential commission. Olwol was on the military commission that took over government after the over throw of President Binaisa in May 1980 until the December 1980 elections. The commission was headed by Paulo Mwanga while Museveni was vice chairperson.