“My Son was Poisoned” Oulanyah’s father Insists.

By Adam Bukenya updated at 1506 EAT on Friday 08 April 2022

Mr Nathan Okori, the father of the deceased former Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah. PHOTO/ MARKO TAIBOT

What you need to know:

  • Away from the tributes, Oulanyah’s death has also been engulfed with criticism, especially surrounding the budget made by the government for his burial and funeral expenses.
  • President Museveni announced the death of Oulanyah, 56, on March 20 and his body was repatriated last Friday.  
  • He died at the University of Washington Medical Centre in Seattle, US, where he was taken to receive specialised care for cancer. 
  • While addressing Parliament on Tuesday, Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said Oulanyah died of multiple organ failure triggered by lymphoma cancer-related complications. 

Mr Nathan Okori, the father of the deceased former Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah on Friday reiterated that his son was poisoned.
According to Mr Okori, the poison affected his son’s health and that by the time he was flown out of the country for treatment, it was too late to save the former Omoro County MP’s life.


“I am not mourning in vain. I want to state clearly that Jacob Oulanyah was poisoned. He told me. The doctors tried to deal with the poison. It affected his health so badly that he could not recover,” Mr Okori said without identifying the people who poisoned his son.


Mr Okori also appealed to government complete the unfinished projects the deceased 11th Parliament Speaker had started, including the village mansion that was yet to be competed and taking care of his dependents.


“Jacob was not just my son. He was a son to the whole country. Jacob has been taking care of many people who depended on him. He left many unfinished initiatives. The government of Uganda should finish his house so that the income from it can be used to take care of his family and grandchildren he left behind. Jacob was like a father to us.

Madam Speaker (Anita Among) you are now occupying Jacob Oulanyah’s chair. You now have to take up that position and play the role of the parent to me,” he said.
Mr Okori also asked the chief justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo help block a “certain woman” from tampering with Oulanyah’s estate.

According to him, the woman he did name had started hiding some documents about the estate.
In his eulogy, Mr Oulanyah’s brother, Mr Francis Emuna said the deceased did not leave any woman following the death of his first wife in 2009 and divorce of the second wife in 2015. 

“Jacob left no woman on earth. There’s no woman Jacob came and introduced to our family,” Mr Emuna told mourners during Oulanyah’s burial ceremony in Omoro District on Friday.
Mr Emuna said he was supposed to go for bone marrow transfusion but he was stopped.
“I was supposed to go for bone marrow transfusion but it was too late. I was stopped by some people. Maybe I would have helped my brother.  That person who stopped me, you have seen what has happened here. Jacob is alive,” he said.

In his eulogy, Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao said: “We saw Jacob Oulanyah alive in Seattle. Some people said we lied to them when we returned from the U.S. They said that we had been bribed to lie that he was alive when we went to Seattle whereas not. How much money can you pay us to lie to Ugandans?”

President Museveni announced the death of Oulanyah, 56, on March 20 and his body was repatriated last Friday.  
He died at the University of Washington Medical Centre in Seattle, US, where he was taken to receive specialised care for cancer. 
While addressing Parliament on Tuesday, Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said Oulanyah died of multiple organ failure triggered by lymphoma cancer-related complications. 

Taking stock of the last three weeks

Tributes, for the past three weeks, have flown in from around the country with a notable number of Ugandans praising the deceased as a leader who was devoted to serving this country.
It is a shame, many said, that Oulanyah never got a chance to show his style of leadership as Speaker following his election into the seat on May 24, 2021.
This was after previously vowing to restore public confidence in Parliament.

“….if you are to ask me, my honest assessment is that the next five years of Parliament should not be like the last term. There are things we must change whether I’m Speaker or not. We have to restore public confidence in this institution,” Oulanyah said on May 20 (last year) at Parliament shortly after he was sworn in as Omoro County MP.

And once he had become Speaker, Oulanyah informed legislators that the era of fidgeting with speeches in the House was over.

“And you (MPs) will not speak if you have not done research. It must be evidence-based. The era of gambling with speeches is over,” he said.

A section of legislators told Monitor that Oulanyah’s demise was a great loss both to the country and Parliament as he did not get the opportunity to “walk his talk.”

Before his death, Oulanyah only chaired a few sittings following his continuous absence from the House as he secretly battled illness.

Away from the tributes, Oulanyah’s death has also been engulfed with criticism, especially surrounding the budget made by the government for his burial and funeral expenses.

This publication on March 28 first broke the story of government allocating Shs2.5 billion for the funeral and burial arrangements, triggering an avalanche of condemnation from Ugandans.

The criticism prompted government to slash the amount to Shs1.8 billion and again to Shs1.2 billion, which amount was released to Parliament on the night of April 4.
Oulanyah leaves behind eight children and three grandchildren.

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