MPs eulogise Ibrahim Abiriga


On Sunday, a special sitting of Parliament was convened to pay tribute to former Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Yahya Abdallah Abiriga who was gunned down in the evening of Friday June 8 as he drove back home at Kawanda in Wakiso district.
ABA ALTHEA recorded the proceedings and transcribed some of the outstanding contributions from the legislators

Janet Kataha Museveni – Minister of Education and Sports
What sign is this? That serving a country with passion and dedication is a crime. What is this message? Abiriga spread love, understanding and good will right from Arua to Kampala. His actions, speeches, his work always portrayed love, the jokes and laughter even with children. Therefore, indeed all Ugandans loved him as others have said, across the whole country and now, all are in shock and in mourning.
I can’t stop hoping that his death really becomes the mirror that all of us will now hold to ourselves, to search our hearts and ask ourselves questions whether our daily work, speech in any way could have contributed anything to this hatred that is bringing these merciless murders in our country.

First Lady and education Minister Janet Kataha Museveni paying her respect to the slain Arua MP.

While Abiriga spread love and understanding, there are many of us who spread hatred and poisonous stories that truly poison large sections of the society. In time, that poison goes and spills over as lava from a volcano and it runs through communities, destroying everything in its way.

Is it possible that that is why our country has remained so backward for such a long time for generations? Do we inspire hatred so much that there is no room for making a critical departure from the past? Would we rather destroy the attempt to develop our backward communities so we go back to square one so that our children find the same chaos we found?

Francis Mwijukye – Buhweju County (FDC)

I hear talks of these are idiots, these are cowards. If we are going to continue being killed by and cowards, then we aren’t serious. We must realize that this is a very serious matter and stop political comedy. These can’t be cowards, these can’t be idiots they are serious killers
Abiriga has been talked about as a patriot, honest and very loyal. I hope that patriotism will be reflected in how we care for his children. I hope the children will benefit from that patriotism of their father; they will not go on to suffer because Abiriga has gone.

Musa Ecweru – Amuria County (NRM), State Minister for Disaster Preparedness

Abiriga did a lot for NRM, loved NRM but didn’t have any sense of entitlement. There are many of us in NRM, you do a small thing, you think you should now be treated as a special person. There are many of us in NRM who have accumulated unnecessary wealth because we think we are entitled.

Abiriga did what he had done, but he remained humble. We as NRM, we need to humble ourselves if we continue this self-entitlement, we will ruin the country. This country should never be allowed to degenerate.

In Abiriga he saw Museveni as the only cement that holds this country together. Whenever he would talk, he would say that if this man goes, do you know that we can easily run into problems again? That is what informed his way of loving President Museveni and for that reason loving the party that president Museveni chaired.

Whatever it takes, we may have any differences, but let us not create any situation that can drive any group of people to exile.
What informs Abiriga’s ways of doing things is exile, Abiriga suffered in exile, Abiriga was traumatized in exile, Abiriga was humiliated in exile.
Abiriga promised that as long as he lives, no group of people in this country should be forced to exile again and as long as he lives, he wanted to die in his country.

On Thursday morning, I was expecting visitors in my humble office, only to be told by my Secretary that Abiriga was standing outside, and I told my secretary to usher him in and he said there was something to discuss about Arua Municipality.

But when I ushered him into my office, he told me there was nothing he needed, he just wanted to greet me because it has been long, there was nothing important that was bringing him to my office, he had just come to greet me because it had been long.

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda – Prime Minister

The killers of Abiriga will be hunted down and brought to justice. We must ensure such killings are fought and defeated. All of us should be vigilant at this crusade, the agents of these evil acts want to instill fear, but we want to assure Ugandans that they will not succeed.

Winfred Kiiza – Kasese Woman, Leader of Opposition in Parliament

Abiriga was hard to annoy, even if you abused him and go to the corner, he would come and joke about it and you laugh.

His death should not be politicized because in him, we had a unifying factor.

A number of deaths have occurred; the murder of Muslim clerics, the ritual murder of children and the story has always been, we shall get them, it came to Joan Kagezi (former Principal State Attorney) and Andrew Felix Kaweesi (former Police Spokesman)  and the story was; we shall install cameras. However, today it’s in the House, it is one of us who has been killed.

Let us rise to the occasion and start speaking about insecurity in this country, killing has no colour, no party, they have gone for children, religious leaders and now MPs. The killers have no shame. My call to government is to ensure security of the people and their property, it is the cardinal role of government. We shall not tire from saying that. With the so many private security companies and guns in the population and the paramilitary groups, this is bound to happen

Dr Chris Baryomunsi – Kinkizi East (NRM), State Minister for Lands

Was Abiriga killed to intimidate MPs because of the decisions we take? If so, we shall not be scared as MPs we shall take decisions that we think are right for this country.