Members of Parliament have paid tribute to the former Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo, applauding him for his dedicated and diligent fight against homosexuality while in Cabinet.
Second deputy premier Moses Ali, moved the motion urging Parliament to pay tribute to the former Minister, for his patriotic and honest service to the nation during the plenary sitting on Thursday, 17 February 2022.
“He was a strong advocate of family values and morals, he showed this through the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity and also contributed to the development of the Catholic Church in Karamoja sub-region,” Moses Ali said.
He added that Lokodo was a linguist and a parish priest, who valued the less privileged.
“He was fluent in various languages, German, Italian, French and English he was a parish priest for Kaabong Catholic Parish and during his tenure, he looked out for the elderly, orphans and children,” he said.
The Kasilo County representative, Hon Elijah Okupa, while seconding the motion said that the late Lokodo was bent on serving God wherever he was placed.
“I once joked with him and I asked him why he left serving God in church and came to Parliament. His response was ‘I am also doing the work of God here’ and I was not surprised that he died while on duty protecting the values of his country, Uganda,” Okupa said.
Hon Esther Anyakun (NRM, Nakapiripirit), said that he was a great support to the whole region and saw to it that the children in the region received an education.
“He supported the entire region in the education service. While he was a priest, got the children scholarships from the countries where he had studied from. He has left a huge legacy for us to continue,” she said.
Anyakun, also Minister of State, Office of the Prime Minister (Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees) requested government to secure the position of Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) for the region, because Lokodo was very passionate about it.
“We are requesting government to ring-fence the position which Fr Lokodo was holding on the UHRC so that it remains within the Karimojong,” she said.
The Minister of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, said that the late died while on duty.
“Information given by UHRC, was that he had led a team from the office to Geneva, for a conference where he fell ill. He was rushed to hospital where unfortunately, he passed on due to natural causes,” Dr Baryomunsi said.
He added that because of his love for the elderly and widows it was an emotional send off for him as many people seemed to have lost hope.
Hon Hillary Lokwang, (NRM, Ik County) said that Fr Lokodo was a patriot, human rights activist and defender.
“I pray that government establishes a seed secondary school at Sangari Sub-county as a gesture of willingness to continue Lokodo’s legacy. They should also upgrade the Karenga Health Centre IV to a fully-fledged hospital,” said Hon Joseph Komol, (NRM, Dodoth North).
The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Hon Mary Kitutu, noted that Lokodo was a respectable man in society and he was down to earth.
“Fr Lokodo was a pillar and an icon to his people of Karenga, Kaabong and Karamoja at large. I was reliably informed how he paid school fees for many children, and this was evidenced at his burial where over 200 children were wailing when Father’s casket was being lowered,” she said.
Lokodo was a Member of Parliament for Dodoth County, Kaabong district from 2006 to 2021. He died on 29 January 2022 while on official duty in Geneva, Switzerland and was buried at his ancestral home in Karenga district on 07 February 2022.