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Military Honors For Former IGP Oryema

The reburial of the late Lt Col Wilson Erinayo Oryema, the former Inspector General of Police, turned into a political rally on Thursday as over 200 people were paraded as having defected to join the ruling NRM party.

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The reburial of the late Lt Col Wilson Erinayo Oryema, the former Inspector General of Police, turned into a political rally on Thursday as over 200 people were paraded as having defected to join the ruling NRM party.

 

President Yoweri Museveni was in attendance in Tangi village, Purongo Sub County, Nwoya district as the Uganda Police Force honored Oryema with an official burial at his ancestral home.

 

Oryema's reburial comes 37 years after he was brutally murdered on February 16, 1977 together with the then Interior minister Oboth Ofumbi and Archbishop Janan Luwum of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda and Mboga-Zaire, when the Idi Amin government accused them of treason.

 

Gertrude Oryema, the first daughter of the former IGP said Oryema's head was severed and that his army his green army T-shirt and trouser were soaked in blood.  She thanked the NRM government for officially reburying the departed former police officer and cabinet minister stating that even some governments that she and her father worked in failed to give him a befitting send off.

 

In a function that was largely attended by senior police and army officers, a three-gun salute was made by the UPDF before the casket was lowered to the grave.

 

The inspector General of police Kale Kayihura said Oryema helped so much in professionalizing the police and it was only befitting that the deceased be given a national burial. He appealed to the government to construct a community policing polytechnic to encourage proper policing but also to help build the relationship between the community and police. Kayihura says that it will now be the duty of the police to take care and honour officers.

 

//Cue in: “It's not practice……

Cue out: ……….SSP Wafula.”//

 

President Museveni said Oryema was an approachable man, stating that the former IGP actually listened to students and granted him access together with his other friends to collect money for building a school. He said the government will support the family of the deceased officer.

 

//Cue in: “There was a law……..

Cue out:………I got my permission.”//

 

The reburial ceremony was attended by three of Oryema's children, Mary Oryema, Gertrude Oryema, William Oryema, while others did not travel from Europe.

 

The government said they could not rebury Oryema earlier because of the northern insurgency and other political challenges that the country was still experiencing.

 

Who is Lt Col Wilson Erinayo Oryema?

 

Oryema was born on 1 January 1917 in the current Nwoya district. He worked as a primary school teacher before joining the police force in 1939.

 

 He attended Britain's renowned Peel Centre, the prestigious Police Training Academy at Hendon, as well as Brownshill near Coventry. He was appointed the first African Inspector General of the Uganda Police on the 17th April 1964 by then Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote.  Oryema succeeded Michael Macoun who became advisor to the Uganda Government, before leaving the country in September 1964. Oryema left the police in January 1971 after the coup which saw Obote unseated by army chief Idi Amin Dada.

 

Oryema was promoted to Lt. Colonel in the Uganda Army and he commanded the Tiger Battalion at Mubende. He also accepted the post of Minister of Lands, Water and Mineral Resources from 1971 to 1974 and Minister of Lands, Housing and Physical Planning from 1974 to 1977.

 

In February 1977, Oryema, together with Archbishop Janani Luwum and Interior Minister Charles Oboth Ofumbi, were arrested on treason charges. On February 16th they were paraded before a military gathering at the Nile Mansions in Kampala, where their charges were read to them as the army shouted “kill them, kill them.”

 

The suspects were whisked away for interrogation. The following day, government media announced that the three had died in a fatal accident. The government said that their car had a head-on collision with another car after they tried to overpower the driver and escape.

 

In his book, State of Blood, written later that year, Henry Kyemba who was Amin's health minister until 1977 noted that the three were killed inside Nakasero State Research Bureau on the orders or in the presence of Idi Amin himself.

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