Fr. Lokodo, a Commissioner at Uganda Human Rights Commission –UHRC, died on January 29 while on official duty in Geneva, Switzerland.
His remains were expected to be returned to Uganda at 4:40am aboard Turkish Airlines on Saturday.
However, Maria Namono, the First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uganda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, told mourners at the airport this morning that Lokodo’s remains will be brought home tomorrow morning, aboard Turkish Airlines flight TK612.
Namono explains that she moved with the body from Geneva but it was separated at Instanbul, Turkey, with her flight scheduled for today and the flight with Lokodo’s remains landing next day. “I did not know that the flights were scheduled for different dates and I had no control over what happens to the body because I was only allowed to do paperwork. The rest of the things related to the body were handled by the funeral homes and airline.”
Two officials and staff from A-Plus Funeral services waited at the cargo import section to receive the body for over two hours. The Turkish Airlines had landed at 4:51am on Saturday at Entebbe International Airport.
As the officials struggled to track Lokodo’s casket, 70 mourners led by Mariam Wangadya, Chairperson Uganda Human Rights Commission – UHRC and other staff including Jimmy Njiku from the finance and administration directorate were waiting inside the VIP lounge to receive Lokodo’s remains.
Most of the mourners including Agnes Nandutu, the minister of State for Karamoja Affairs, Dodoth West MP Ben Koryang, Pian County MP Achia Remegi and Lokodo’s relatives arrived before 4am at Entebbe Airport to receive his remains.
Wangadya says the body will arrive tomorrow morning and any changes to the program will be communicated. She however maintains that he will be buried on Tuesday at his ancestral home in Kapedo in Karenga district. She says Lokodo was a great listener, hard worker and intelligent. Some of Lokodo’s relatives led Alfred Akoro were also present at the airport.
Akoro says Lokodo was taking care of more than 20 grandchildren of his nephews at his home in Seeta, Mukono district.
At the time of his death, Lokodo was a Commissioner at the Uganda Human Rights Commission. He had traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, as part of Uganda’s delegation to attend a UM human rights meeting.
Lokodo, 64, died suddenly on Saturday January 29 while in Geneva, Switzerland, where he had gone as part of Uganda’s delegation to attend a UN human rights meeting.
While alive, Rev. Fr. Lokodo, regularly noted that his happiest day was when he was ordained a catholic priest in 1986. However, as he approached his silver jubilee in the ministry, in 2009, he was suspended by Pope Benedict XVI.The Pope, through the then Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, decreed that Fr Lokodo couldn’t continue to carry out priestly duties and also participate in elective politics.
Lokodo was serving as parish priest for Karenga, in Kotido Diocese, when he decided to join elective politics. Despite warnings from his superiors, the priest contested for and won the Dodoth County parliamentary seat after the death of the incumbent MP, Ael Ark Lodou, in June 2006.
In Cabinet, Lokodo was appointed the state minister for industry, a position he held from February 2009 to May 2011 when he was appointed ethics and integrity minister replacing Dr Nsaba Buturo.
Lokodo has also been a strong supporter of the now controversial Anti-Homosexuality and Anti-Pornography legislations.
In 2021 Lokodo was dropped from the cabinet. But, after two months he was appointed as a commissioner at the Uganda Human Rights Commission where he has been serving till his death.
Born on October 28, 1957, in Kaabong District, he earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in theology from the University of Rome, where he studied for nine years during his early years of formation.
He also possessed other education qualifications, according to information retrieved from the parliament website, including a Diploma in Rural Sociology, a Diploma in Social Communication, and a Diploma in Philosophy and Social Science.
After his ordination, Lokodo served as the parish priest of Kaabong from 1986 until 1994. He was the Kotido Diocese’s development coordinator from 1991 to 1996.
The dedicated priest worked on translating the Bible into Akarimojong from 1994 to 2000. He was named parish priest of Karenga in the year 2000.
Lokodo was also multilingual, speaking English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish in addition to his native tongue.
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