By Watchdog reporter
Opposition MP Betty Nambooze has eulogized Gen Julius Oketta as an exemplary soldier, one who should be emulated by all officers wearing the UPDF uniform.
In her letter to the Speaker, from Sri Lanka where she went for official duties, the Mukono Municipality MP said the speaker should honour Gen Oketta who served in the House, by responding to key issues affecting the country including the closure of Makerere university, among others.
Below is the letter.
November 7th, 2016
The Deputy Speaker
Parliament of Uganda
P.O Box 7178
Rt. Hon Speaker,
RE: TRIBUTE TO THE LATE MAJ GENERAL JULIUS. F. OKETA.
With grief, while away in Sri Lanka, I have learnt of the passing of Maj. General Dr. Julius . F. Oketa. His sudden death as you are fully aware has left all of us gutted. In this death, Uganda has lost another accomplished gentleman, intellectual, Officer with a high sense of humour and respect for Civilian Authority. My heart goes out to his family, the UPDF and the entire nation.
There will always be memories of the Late General leading several disaster response teams, representing the Army in Parliament, involving himself in Peace Building initiatives, Farming and up till his death, Deputy Commandant of the Operation Wealth Creation. He went about his life with a high sense of duty and love for service yet he maintained a commendable sense of humility. We shall Miss him.
I remember Major General Oketta occasionally saluting me and saying “I salute you my civil authority” Then it passed as a joke, today I recall it as a great action of a soldier who unlike many appreciated that the men in uniform derive their power from the will of the civilian citizens of the Nation.
However, Mr. Speaker Sir, as we mourn our colleague, I humbly propose that in memory of what he stood for, that Parliament in its special sitting to honour him in addition includes on the order paper other business to deliberate on several of the issues that plague Uganda today. The closure of Makerere University which has created uncertainty as to the fate of other public universities, the failing economy, gross violation of human rights and the pathetic state of service delivery deserve mention and debate in this special sitting of Parliament. I pray that it pleases you Rt. Hon Speaker and Honourable Colleagues to dedicate today’s business to the aforementioned in honour of the Late Maj General . Julius .F. Oketa.
Mr. Speaker Sir, my humble opinion is that this arrangement is in line with our usual procedure because there have been days we have sat as Parliament, handled motions of paying tribute to fallen colleagues but handled other urgent business soon thereafter, meaning Rt. Hon. Speaker that my proposal is not unprecedented.
May His Soul Rest in Peace.
Bakireke Nambooze Betty, (MP)