MBALE – The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Teyebwa has fronted, Emmanuel Omoding, one of the sons of the fallen Serere County MP, Patrick Okabe as a replacement for his father, in what appears to be a growing norm.
Tayebwa presented Omoding to the mourners during the funeral of Okabe and his wife, Christine Okabe at their home in Oburin Cell Ochapa Town Council in Serere district on Saturday.
The couple perished in an accident along the Mbale – Tirinyi Highway on Monday this week. Tayebwa’s action was preceded by numerous calls from the Teso sub region legislators, asking voters in Serere to replace Okabe with his family member.
The Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa led the way – raising the the matter on Thursday when Parliament paid tribute to Okabe.
During the funeral, Okupa reiterated the call as junior ministers -Clement Kenneth Ongalo Obote, Peter Ogwang and Hellen Asamo joined the queue in echoing his message.
In his speech, Tayebwa notified mourners that one of the sons of the late MP had accepted to carry his father’s mantle.
Omoding was quickly introduced to the mourners as Tayebwa called the NRM Vice Chairperson for Eastern Uganda, Capt. Mike Mukula to bless him.
Mukula said that he had no objection to the proposal, provided that voters approve of the decision. Mukula also called the NRM flag bearer, Phillip Oucor who lost to Okabe in the 2021 General Elections to give his view on the proposal. Okabe was voted to Parliament on an independent ticket after losing in the NRM primaries.
But when called to the podium to respond to the request made by the MPs and the family, Oucor said he had not come for politics.
“I came here to mourn my neighbour and friend and my auntie -his wife. I didn’t prepare for politics,” said Oucor, who was quick in handing back the microphone to Mukula – leaving most mourners in murmurs.
Mukula noted that the matter would be handled harmoniously at later stage.
But Omoding pledged to continue with his father’s good work.
“I have never been strong like I am today. I have been living overseas but I am now ready for the mantle. We shall do everything in our capacity to ensure that Papa’s legacy is carried on,” he said as mourners cheered him on.
All five children of Okabe have been living in the USA and Australia where some of them are married and work. In 2012, Usuk County voted in a- 19-year- old Proscovia Alengot to replace her father, Michael Oromait as member of parliament.
And most recently, following the death Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, his son, Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, took over through a what many described as a stolen election.