Parliament has mourned the death and praised the legacy of Emorimor Augustine Osuban Lemukol, the Paramount Chief of Iteso Cultural Union as a pillar of peace and unity.
Osuban, 88, breathed his last at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he had been admitted last month to manage Covid19 related complications.
In a special sitting convened to pay tribute to Osuban, the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja moved a appreciated the contribution and service that he rendered to the people of Teso sub-region and Uganda.
Nabbanja said Osuban was an advocate for peace and stability, who played a key role working with the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces and the Arrow Boys Auxiliary Force to defeat the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Teso sub-region.
“Emorimor Osuban Lemukol used his position as the lteso cultural leader to advocate for and promote moral and cultural values, unity and embracing government programmes amongst the lteso community,” she said.
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among described Osuban as hardworking, royal, disciplined, trustworthy and open-minded.
“He was a great advocate of unity for Teso and Uganda. The fights that used to be in Teso ceased when he ascended to the throne. His devotion to preaching morals and cultural value was immense and must be recognised,” said Among.
She urged leaders to emulate his exemplary leadership style, by striving to promote peace, unity, growth, and prosperity.
“A call for leadership is a call for unity, growth, and to inspire people under your charge. Let us leave Uganda a better Uganda, not one that people will regret being born in it,” Among said
“The Emorimor was not an ordinary person. He dedicated his life to ensure improved quality of agriculture production,” said the Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal.
The Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa, said Emorimor Osuban was a nationalist, who supported government programs and asked all leaders to emulate this.
“He knew that the Government was a partner and never attempted to compete with the Government. I never had any politician complaining that he was not welcomed in Teso, we never had any situation where you could say that the Teso institution was involved in politics,” Tayebwa said.
Tayebwa pledged to mobilize NRM MPs to contribute to the construction of the Palace of the Teso Cultural leader.
The motion was later amended as moved by Ogwal, urging the Government to revive the Serere Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) in memory of Osuban who played an important role in the agriculture sector in the country.
The amendment which was unanimously adopted also urged Government to fast track the building of the official palace of Teso in memory Osuban.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi, blamed the delay in construction of a palace for Teso to the absence of land.
“We have recently been notified that the Iteso Cultural Union has acquired a land title and now we await an official request from the institution so we can start constructing the Palace. We welcome the idea,” said Amongi.
She also joined her colleagues in recognizing the contributions made by the Osuban, saying that he determined the flag of Teso.
“He was instrumental in the formulation of the Iteso constitution, anthem and logo. There is no cultural institution which can operate under the gender Ministry without a constitution,” said Amongi.
The Minister of State Teso Affairs, Clement Ongalo-Obote, said that if the Government cannot take care of cultural institutions and there leaders, then there should be no pretense of having them.
“The Emorimor worked from his home for 23 years. He has been holding the people of Teso together by his sheer will. We need to face the reality or the sacrifice of this man will be in vain,” Ongalo-Obote said.
He was born in 1934 and was enthroned in April 2000. He served as Commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry until his retirement in 1979.
He also served on several boards including Kinyara Sugar Works, Uganda Tea Growers Corporation, Produce Marketing Board and Uganda Medical Stores from 1989 to 1998.