14 November 2012

Uganda: Parliament Eulogizes Former MP Odit

Tributes have been paid to the fallen former Erute North legislator in Lira district, John Odit.

In a special plenary session Wednesday afternoon chaired by deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, MPs hailed Odit's contributions to the legislature where he served for 10 years.

The motion to pay tribute to late Odit was moved by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and was seconded by the opposition Chief Whip Winfred Kiiza.

The Premier described Odit as a tolerant politician who was open to divergent views although he was member of the opposition, Uganda People's Congress (UPC).

He was a gentleman and peace loving Ugandan. A good legislator, listener and good leader and would sometimes be misunderstood by his decision. who was committed to his work.

"The late Odit will be remembered for his contribution to the development Uganda and Lango sub region in particular. His enormous knowledge in agricultural matters and his expertise added values to the agriculture which he once chaired," Mbabazi said.

Odit dislodged John Ricky Akeny of the National Resistance Movement and joined Parliament in 2001. He counted his entrance to Parliament as a blessing to the constituency with the highest number of people in Lira district.

"My entrance to Parliament was a blessing to the people of Erute North because I advocated for the extension of National Agriculture Advisory Services to the area and became a reality," Odit told New Vision in 2010.

"Adekokwok, Amac and Barr sub-counties were not in the NAADS programme but I struggled and later the Government started releasing sh500,000 for each sub-county," Odit recalled.

Odit, former secretary general of UPC was defeated in the 2011 Parliamentary elections by Sam Engola of NRM.

Odit was admitted in Kampala International hospital with stroke before being transferred to Mulago.

He was an active member of All Saints Cathedral Boroboro in Lira and during the fundraising for the church graced by then the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, he contributed sh5m throwing the crowds into a loud applause.

In the previous Parliament Odit chaired the Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises committee which handled the National Social Security Services Temangalo land scandal.

In Erute South the UPC strongman is still remembered for his request to the ministry of health to give Amac health centre IV HIV/AIDS testing machine, ambulance, increase drugs and the extension of electricity to Abutadi trading centre.

Odit constructed his residence in Kakooge village in Ojwina, Lira municipality before joining the political game.

Odit's contribution as the chairman of agriculture committee for 10 years in parliament both 7th and 8th was known as a person of very passionate on issues of agriculture.

"As Lango parliamentary group and Uganda we definitely missed his service because he was a very objective opposition politician even the President knows," said Ajuri County MP Denis Hamson Obua.

According to MP Obua the bill for accumulated to over sh100m and it was President Yoweri Museveni trying to clear it.

"He was strong leader in parliament and as the people of Erute South we shall miss him," said Alfred Ogwal of Apwotic village in Agali Sub County.

Before climbing political ladder Odit taught at Lira Town College and lectured at National Teachers college Ngetta. He holds master degree in agricultural econometric, master in agriculture and a visiting lecturer in one of the university in the UK.

During UPC primaries because of his popularity he knocked out Tom Ivan Etii and Coxson Etii though he was defeated in the national elections.

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