The Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda has revealed that the body of the former Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah will be returned to Uganda on Friday.

Oulanyah died at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, a north-western Pacific-coast American city in the state of Washington on March 20. His candle burned out just three days to his 57th birthday.

His body was moved to a funeral home for embalming and processing of requisite paperwork for its repatriation to Uganda.

In a tweet on Monday, Minister Babalanda who was tasked by President Yoweri Museveni to head the National Organizing Committee of the former Speaker’s burial, said that after the arrival of the body, a number of activities of his burial will then take effect.

“Fellow Ugandans, I wish to confirm that the body of our beloved Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah will arrive in Uganda this Friday,” wrote Babalanda.

“We shall then have a weeklong series of activities for his burial. At 1pm tomorrow (Tuesday), I will issue a detailed programme,” she added.

Over the weekend, various media reports quoting Kilak County MP Akol Anthony who is also the Chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group, indicated that Oulanyah’s body had been taken to the Ugandan Embassy in Washington D.C.

It was reported that the body will leave USA on Thursday and arrive in Uganda during day time on Friday April 1 when it will be welcomed by Acholi cultural dancers.

Since Tuesday March 22, 2022, several dignitaries including members of the diplomatic corps, Members of Parliament and other political leaders continue to access Parliament in order to sign the condolence book to pay their last respects to the fallen speaker.

The Omoro County MP (Omoro District) was elected Speaker on May 24, 2021, after defeating the former Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. He served as Deputy Speaker of Parliament from May 2011 until May 2021.

He was born on March 23, 1965, within the then-Gulu District, to Nathan L’okori and Karen Atwon.

He attended St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr Obote College Boroboro, and Kololo Senior Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Level education.

In 1988, he joined Makerere University, the oldest university in the East African Community, where he studied agricultural economics.

He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in that subject before he entered law school at Makerere University and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Laws degree.

He served as speaker of the university students’ guild during his stay at Makerere.

In 1995, he attended the Law Development Centre (LDC), where he obtained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice.

Following his graduation from the LDC, Oulanyah worked as a lecturer at the centre. During the same timeframe, he began private law practice at the law firm of Oulanyah, Onoria & Company Advocates.

In 2001, he entered politics by successfully contesting for the parliamentary seat of Omoro County, in the then Gulu District under the no-party system also known as the Movement Political System. He was however a cardholder of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC). He also participated in the peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.

In 2006, standing as a UPC candidate, he lost his re-election bid. In July 2006, he quit the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

In 2008, he served as the chairman of the commission of inquiry into the controversial sub-lease of Kisekka Market, one of the municipal markets in the city of Kampala.

In March 2011, Oulanyah was elected to represent Omoro County then in Gulu District, in the Ninth Parliament, this time on the NRM ticket. He was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on May 19, 2011.

Following the February 2016 general election, Oulanyah was re-elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on May 19, 2016. In the vote conducted by secret ballot, he received 300 votes, while Muhammad Nsereko received 115.

On July 13, 2019, Oulanyah was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Zoe Life Theological College USA and acquired the title, Doctor enabling him be called Rt. Hon. Dr. Jacob L. Oulanyah.

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