21 January 2013

Uganda: Deputy Speaker Oulanyah Finds New Love

President Yoweri Museveni has praised Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah as a good lawyer and nationalist who has been instrumental in crafting good policies for the government.

Speaking at Oulanyah's wedding at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Saturday, the President who was accompanied by his wife, Ruhaama MP Janet Museveni congratulated Oulanyah upon finding a companion after losing his first wife.

He described him as "an accomplished lawyer and leader whose role in helping the NRM government 'wrestle' the Acholi sub-region from "a sectarian political class".

Interspersing his speech with Luo words, Museveni described Acholis as "good people" who have been "unfortunate to have bad leaders."

"Initially, we had a problem with a reactionary and sectarian political class in Acholi. But with the help of people like Betty Bigombe, Oulanyah and Okello Oryem, things have changed," a jovial Museveni said, referring to the 2011 general polls where NRM, for the first time, overwhelmingly won in the region that had been hostile to it.

The president lauded Oulanyah for his fortitude that has seen him raise his four children following the demise of first wife, urging the bride, Winnie Amoo Okot, to "treat these kids just like her children."

The wedding was graced by a host of big shots in government, including Vice president, Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Chief Justice Benjamin Odok, Central Bank governor Tumusiime Mutebile, former prime minister Apollo Nsibambi, First lady Janet Museveni, a number of minister and MPs.

Guests were kept waiting for an hour before both the groom and bride arrived at different times.

The first to arrive at 2.29pm was the groom, attired in a cream jacket, white shirt, black trouser, beige sash, gleaming black shoes and his signature white bowtie, to choruses of John Newton's "amazing grace" by All Saints Cathedral's Well Spring Band.

And 24 minutes later the bride, adorned in a flowing cream gown, arrived to much ululation.

The newly installed Archbishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali who wedded the couple strongly condemned same-sex marriages, urging all Ugandans to say no to such so-called marriages.

"No one has the right and the authority to change the original format of marriage and those playing on our psychology are wrong because they are violating our human rights", he said.

Archbishop Ntagali said that marriage was instituted by God Himself in the Garden of Eden.

He, therefore, asked the new couple to always cherish sincere love, patience and always be forgiving towards each other in order to enjoy a peaceful and lasting marriage, inevitable earthly challenges notwithstanding.

"Marriage is a hallowed institution and it should not be undertaken carelessly, lightly, or selfishly, but reverently and after serious thought," Ntagali said, before advising those searching for spouses to "pray about it instead of turning to the internet."

"You cannot get a good spouse on the internet," Ntagali said, sending guests into a bout of laughter. The bride is daughter of Santa Okot who was in the seventh parliament.

The President donated to the couple some cows as a symbol of wishing them good luck.

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