Paul Lokech died of blood clot in his lungs –Courtesy Photo
“Had it been an open battle, Lokech, you would not go alone.” Says Oulanyah as he clenched his fist
“I won’t stop you from finding out what killed Lokech, but please do it within the law.”
PADER-UGANDA: Thousands of mourners thronged the ancestral home of the fallen Genera Paul Lokeck at Paipir Village, Pader Town Council in Pader District on Friday August 27th, 2021 where his body was laid to rest.
They kept chanting, crying, ululating and blowing horns whenever the summon for investigating the cause of his death was made by the aggrieved Acholi leaders.
Jacob Oulanyah, the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda who was the chief mourner, turned the table up side down at 4.30 PM when he took to the pulpit.
Speaking with gusto pointed at Lokech’s casket, lying under a small tent in front of the mourners; “There you are, yet another one, another tragic death, we remain tight –lipped,” he said as he clenched his fist.
“Had it been an open battle, Lokech, you would not go alone.”
Paul Lokech, 55, nick-named “The lion of Mogadishu” breathed his last on Saturday August 21st, 2021 from his residence in Kitikifumba, Kiira Municipality in Wakiso District.
According to pathologists’ report, the army general succumbed to blood clot in his lungs following a fracture of the right ankle joint he sustained after falling from a chair at his home.
Glorifying Lokech’s deeds through Luo song, Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny –Dollo, the Chief Justice of Uganda sang, “Lokech rom aroma ki Oluma, Oyita lweny” literally meaning, “Lokech is like giant, a fierce warrior.”
Yee’ Pader rac Oneko Atunya woko, tong pa Gen. Lokech gee rwok cobo roko, mm piny bed woo woo, Pader, Pader rac Oneko Atunya woko. Tong pa Gen. Lokech cobo roko imm piny bedo woo woo. (…Lokech’s spear pierces badly…), he continued in his raspy voice.
There was total silence when Owiny -Dollo finished the song. He then tasked the masses to question the cause of Lokech’s death, “I won’t stop you from finding out what killed Loech, but please do it within the law.”
Peter Okwera, the late Lokech’s elder brother who represented the family says the responsibility of investigating the cause of Lokech’s death is not on the government but the entire Acholi community. “In Acholi when your son is killed, you don’t demand the killer to investigate the cause of death, the bereaved family is the one tasked with that responsibility.” Say Okwera
Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South County Member of Parliament demanded that the government must explain what really killed Lokech adding that media reports are not satisfactory.
An inside source told the Black Star News on condition of anonymity that when the condition of Lokech worsened on the night of Friday August 20th, the family informed the deceased’s personal doctor, Dr. Ben Kiyiki, prompting the President Protection Units PPUs to invade the Lokech’s home and disarmed all his guards.
Luke Henry Orombi, the retired Archbishop of the Church of Uganda described Lokech as the fallen gallant son of Acholi who rose from grass to grace in Ugandan leadership.
“All Ugandans are mourning Lokech because his demise left a deep wound in their hearts. Lokech was the Lion of Mogadishu, but now the Lion of Juda. I know he is now with the Lord.” Says Orombi
President Yoweri Museveni hailed Lt Gen Lokech for the great changes he made in the Uganda Police Force within a short time of his appointment. He cited that before his appointment, several crime cases had gone unnoticed since police officers tasked to monitor Closed Circuit Camera Television cameras [CCTV] installed instead spent most of the time on social media.
Excerpt of President Museven’s Eulogy
Major-General Lokech joined the Army in 1987. On checking the records, I have found that, as a student at Comboni Secondary School, he had started supporting the Army in its operations by providing information about the Lakwena – LRA rebels and terrorists.
He trained at Kaweweta in the 1980s as an ordinary soldier, having started working with the Army as a volunteer in 1987. He was then, commissioned as 2nd Lt.
I, personally, as Commander-in-Chief, either heard of or worked closely with Lokech three times, where he did meritorious service. On one occasion, I was in Gulu with the anti-LRA operations.
I was informed that there was a Commander that routinely fought through LRA ambushes in the area between Atanga and Acholibur. Second time, I heard of Lokech was when he was Contingent Commander in Somalia.
The UPDF, under his command, made a historic contribution to peace in Africa when they defeated Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu. Remember that we had gone to Mogadishu not to fight but simply do peace-keeping by guarding the Sea-Port, Air-port and State House.
It is the bankruptcy of Al-Shabaab that forced us to go on the offensive and flush out the terrorists out of the areas of: Wanaha Road, Red Mosque, Bakara market, Mogadishu stadium, Mogadishu University, etc.