Legislators across the political divide on Tuesday, 31st March 2015 paid glowing tribute to the late Archbishop Janan Luwum who was murdered on 16th February 1977 during President Idi Amin’s regime.
This followed a Motion moved by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at a Sitting of Parliament chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah.
The Late Janan Luwum who was born in 1924 was the Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire from 1974 to 1977, when he was murdered.
In the Motion, Rt.Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said that the late Luwum was a great man of the 20th Century who stood for human rights, and was a role model for the world.
The Premier added that the late Archbishop resisted the intimidation of the brutal regime of Idi Amin.
“He condemned the atrocities of Idi Amin and his death united Ugandans and galvanised the liberation of Uganda from the dictatorship”, he said.
Premier Rugunda Minister also stated that the late Luwum was a major uniting factor and a leading force within the church, which was fractured in agony at the time.
“He confronted tribalism and religious rivalry. His leadership encouraged people not to disregard issues but confront them. He was a gift to Uganda, Africa and to humanity”, Rugunda noted.
He concluded by saying that Uganda lost a gallant son, the family lost a loving father, the world lost an icon and the church lost a leader.
“He was a giant, a role model who inspired us and is a challenge to all of us regardless of our faith and affiliations”, he concluded.
The Leader of the Opposition, Rt. Hon. Wafula Oguttu who seconded the Motion said the late Archbishop was the greatest Ugandan who ever lived and worked for a just, peaceful and democratic Uganda.
“He saw the church as vehicle for peace, reconciliation and social transformation”, Hon. Wafula Oguttu said.
He added that the late Luwum put his country and people first unlike many Ugandans who take personal interests first.
“Not many of us have these traits. Many Ugandans serve themselves first, the President next and the country last”, He added. Hon. Wafula Oguttu urged Ugandans to draw inspiration from the man of God who left a legacy of clean leadership.
Hon. Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum District) said the late Archbishop Janan Luwum wasn’t fearful and was able to speak out.
She advocated for a faith-based university to be built at Mucwini in Kitgum district in his honour.
Hon. Latif Ssebaggala called on the Ministry of Education to have books about the late Luwum made available to primary and secondary schools.
“His story should be included in the school syllabus so that our children get to know about this great saint of Uganda”, the Parliament Imam sounded out.
Bugweri County MP, Hon. Abdu Katuntu said that the late Luwum has continued to unite Ugandans even in his death as seen by the meeting of different leaders from all the political parties.
“I was touched when I saw Ambassador Olara Otunnu shaking hands with President Museveni and Hon. Cecilia Ogwal smiling gracefully. We need a society of equality and unity which the late Archbishop died for”, he echoed.
Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah commended the Parliament for debating the Motion as if body of the late Archbishop was laying in state in the House. He added that the country should be inspired and have hope even in his death.
“This spirit should inspire us and make this country a better place. We should declare that this country should never again go back to the past”, Hon. Oulanyah cautioned.
The Motion sought that Parliament pays tribute to the late Archbishop for his distinguished service and contribution towards the liberation of Uganda and that the ideals of democracy, good governance and the rule of law that the late Janan Luwum advocated for be upheld.
The Motion also stated that Parliament takes cognisance of the public holiday of 16th February as pronounced by President Museveni.