24 February 2024

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North's First

The mysterious deaths of northern Uganda’s finest men 

Minister Engola's killing has caused more questions than answers as Police and other security agencies say they are already investigating the incident.
engola

Former Minister of Labour Charles Engola with the pupils of Omer Primary School in Amuru district. Photo by PMLDaily.

Last Updated on: 3rd May 2023, 01:47 pm

Oyam, May 3, 2023: Death is a natural plan by God for his people to ascend to Heaven or hell at a time He has planned. However, death can also be manmade – one can be killed for a crime or his or her innocence.

Death is inevitable. If one dies without a clear cause, it can be saddening and families and relatives are left with a lot to contemplate.

In this piece, we are looking at the deaths of three top-gallant sons of Northern Uganda whose demises have left many without proper satisfaction. Their deaths, precisely, were ‘never expected’ and the public still thinks they have got no enough information to know why and what led to their departures.

Gen Paul Lokech

At the time of his death, Lokech was the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), a position he served for only eight months. He died on August 21, 2021, in what was later revealed to be a fatal, sudden, massive and bilateral pulmonary embolus.

It’s worth noting that Gen Lokech missed bullets and survived during his foreign assignments to fight rebels in Somalia and Sudan. To many, the death of the ‘Lion of Mogadishu’ was a calculated one.

In October 2021, Police said a fresh investigation into the death of Lokech was launched by the IGP Martin Okoth Ochola. Speaking at that time, Fred Enaga, the Police spokesperson said the fresh investigation followed queries from the people of Acholi, among them politicians who were not convinced with the autopsy report.

As quoted by NilePost, Enaga added: “The postmortem report clearly indicated that Lt Gen Paul Lokech died of a blood clot. The postmortem was carried out by four pathologists in addition to the director of medical services in the UPDF, the personal doctor to the deceased and two family members. In total, eight people were present during the medical examination and the findings were clear of how the blood clot rose. These wild imaginations are not necessary.”

Jacob Oulanyah

He died on Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Seattle, United States. Until his death, he was the Speaker of the 11th Parliament and the Omoro County MP. From the time he was bedridden until his death, a lot of murmurs and claims flooded social media.

Some said he was poisoned and this claim was vehemently trashed by the government. While updating Parliament on Oulanyah’s death on April 5, 2022, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, minister of health revealed that the immediate cause of death of the former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, was multiple organ failure.

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“The heart, lungs, liver and kidney all failed. The liver started failing while he was in Uganda and the lungs had started collecting fluids.”

She added that Oulanyah was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

Oulanyah’s father, Nathan Okori had earlier said his son was “poisoned by some people his son confided in him”. His claim caused shivers in Acholi and put the government on a shudder.

Many of Oulanyah’s constituents and dozens of Acholi leaders also supported a claim that their MP and colleague got poisoned.

Okello Engola Macodwogo

The Oyam North MP was brutally gunned down on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, while preparing to leave his home in Kyanja, Nakawa division in Kampala.

Widely known as Macodwogo, a name he was given by the people at the time the LRA rebels were disturbing Lango and Acholi sub-regions, the retired soldier at the rank of Colonel died a disastrous death.

Engola was the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations. He was last seen publicly on May 1, during a Labour Day celebration held in Namutumba district where he spoke briefly before inviting his senior Minister Betty Amongi Ongom to address the gathering.

Engola’s killer has been identified as Private Wilson Sabiiti. The latter was part of the Minister’s security guards for only a month, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Permanent Secretary on Tuesday.

Addressing the media a short while after the incident, Fred Enaga said investigations into the killing had commenced.

What people are saying

Paul Omara, Otuke County MP

A month ago, Minister Okello Engola asked me to Chair his wedding meeting for LPG so that we could mobilise resources. Last week we were seated together in the House and he again reminded me about when I would communicate to LPG so that we can start the meeting. I told him when need to agree on the wedding date or month. We agreed that the wedding should be in November this year because Dec is always a busy month because of the Christmas season.

I told him about my scheduled business meetings in South Africa and we agreed that when I return then we would kick-start the process. On the day of my travel, he was killed in cold blood. Brothers and sisters the will of God for our lives is only known to Him. Let us live at peace with all men if possible. I will deeply miss this gentle giant. RIP Comrade

Queen Dorothy, former MP aspirant, Oyam South

I’m saddened and outraged by the reckless and pointless murder of my best friend Hon. Charles Okello Engola. We had just talked about a partnership to bring a Radio Station to the people of Northern Uganda and several pieces of equipment for the Community Hospital that he founded in Oyam North—a plan we set in motion months ago.

The whole story surrounding his murder is absurd. It does not make sense. It leaves more questions than answers. Below are the questions she’s asking:

  1. How can a bodyguard who worked with the minister for less than five weeks kill him in cold blood because of non-payment of allowance/salary?
  2. How much was this bodyguard owed, and who owed his allowance/salary?
  3. Isn’t it the government of Uganda that pays salaries for UPDF officers and all bodyguards assigned to ministers?
  4. Isn’t it the line ministry that is supposed to pay any allowance for aides and security officers assigned to ministers?
  5. If the allowance was meant to be paid by the minister himself, is a one-time missed payment sufficient ground to take the life of a man?
  6. How is the life of Minister Charles Okello Engola related to non-payment of allowance/ salary by the bodyguard’s employer (Government of Uganda)?
  7. What happened to his long-term bodyguard before this new murderer?
  8. Why was this suicidal maniac transferred to his security detail in the first place?
  9. What was the background and history of this deadly killer?
  10. Why would the bodyguard wait to be transferred to the minister, work for one month, and murder him in cold blood?
  11. Was the transfer an inside hit Job?
  12. Which individual was this UPDF soldier guarding before being transferred to “protect” Minister Charles Okello Engola?
  13. How long did he work for his previous boss?
  14. What was the circumstance of his transfer?
  15. Who decided that this UPDF soldier be assigned to my friend Hon. Charles Okello Engola?
  16. Who approved the transfer?
  17. Why didn’t the bodyguard murder his previous boss?
  18. The minister was preparing to leave for the State House. Why was he murdered before his State House meeting?
  19. Who wanted Hon. Charles Okello Engola dead?
  20. Who is behind the actions of the bodyguard???

Important, she said these questions do not blanket blame the UPDF as a body, nor does it blame the government of Uganda. This message is geared towards finding the truth behind the reckless murder of the state minister for Gender, Labor, and Social Development, a Member of Parliament of Oyam North constituency, a friend, a husband, a brother, a father, a grandfather, and a retired UPDF soldier.

“We demand a thorough investigation: The dead bodyguard must be investigated in detail. All his movements, whom he spoke to within the last six months, his work history, his family, and all those who initiated and authorized his transfer to the minister, etc. This was not an ordinary suicidal murder. This was an execution.”

“My dear friend, you were a LION, King of the Jungle. It is unfortunate that a rat took your life! May your dear Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.”


Share with us your views on the death of Minister Engola via: newsroom@tndnewsuganda.com or WhatsApp: 0752169448

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