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HON. CECILIA BARBARA ATIM OGWAL December 6, 1946 - January 18, 2024

Date of Funeral

January 27, 2024

Parents:

Father: Dr Bonifacio Opio (RIP)

Mother: Rostamary Opio (RIP)

Husband:  Mr Lamek Smart Ogwal

Children

  • Rosemary Alwoc
  • Moses Michael Otyek
  • Nicholas Awongo Ogwal
  • Andrew Opio Ogwal
  • Philip Ocen Ogwal
  • Joshua Joseph Odoc Ogwal
  • Henry Okello Ogwal
  • Stella Xerenzy Atim
  • Ronald Lamek Ogwal
  • Ronald Otyek

Daughters-in-Love

  • Julian Kusasira Ogwal
  • Anna Opio
  • Miriam Lapak Ogwal

Grandchildren

  • David Ogwal-Otyek
  • Joshua Guum-Otyek
  • Michael Jeremy Parwot
  • Jed Rwotmara
  • Ayeza Atim Jeanne
  • Joshua Rwotber
  • Elnathan Dieudonne Komagum Engena
  • Galina Eliana Amaro
  • Anora Amaro Opio
  • Anando Omara Opio
  • Leonardo Smart Ogwal

Cecilia Barbara Atim was born during the night of 6 December 1946 in Dokolo District. Dokolo is the place where the previous generation of freedom fighters, Omukama Chwa II, Kabaka Mwanga, Rwot Awich and Owiny Akullo collaborated and made their last stand against colonialism on 9.04.1899.  Their collaboration made Dokolo the cradle of our modern nation.

When only 6 years old and attending Lwala Catholic Girls Boarding School in Teso, she staged a protest by walking over 30 miles home in the hot sun, rather than concede to lack of hygienic cooking practices at the school.

At age of 11 whilst attending Ngeta Catholic Boarding School for girls, she was denied entry to the annual Maths competition.  She protested the injustice of refusing girls the chance to participate by going on hunger strike.  When the school finally relented, Cecilia Atim became the first girl to win the regional maths competition.  She was awarded a scholarship to Abongodero Junior Secondary School.

In 1960, Cecilia Atim was among the first intake of students to attend the newly built Sacred Heart Secondary School.  She worked throughout her secondary school vacation, at various places including the Lango Cooperative Union which had a Ginning plant and headquarters at Odokomit.

While studying for O’levels at the newly formed Sacred Heart Secondary School for girls, Cecilia Atim became exposed to political debates for independence.  Such was her interest that she actually went out to the polling station to vote the following year.  She was turned away for being too young to vote.

She then turned her attention to using her pen to express her vision for a post independent Republic of Uganda.  She entered the Brooke Bond sponsored national written essay competition. Cecilia Atim won in the female category. At that time, she was the first student from Northern Uganda to excel at the national stage.

In May 1963 winners and runners up were invited to the Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala for an award ceremony presided by Hon Sam Odaka, MP.   Cecilia Atim came first against her female peers.  She won a scholarship that funded all academic related costs from Senior 5 onwards.

At the award ceremony, Miss Cox, Headmistress of Gayaza High School, was so impressed by Cecilia Atim’s intelligence, she wrote offering her the opportunity to study A’ levels at Gayaza.  The offer was duly accepted.  While at Gayaza she became the first ever practising Catholic, leaving school grounds and attending daily mass.

After Senior 6 exams, Cecilia Atim worked in the relatively new medium of Television Educational Programming.

Upon passing A’ levels, Cecilia Atim was admitted to the Federal University of East Africa, University College Nairobi.

In 1966, she was 1 of 6 female students the University admitted to study Commerce for the first time since the University’s founding.  It was anticipated female students would struggle to keep up with the rigorous pace of study.  She however, excelled and graduated as the best B-Com student in her class.

Her student life, however, was not just about academics. She was active in student politics campaigning against social injustice around the world throughout her time in Nairobi. In 1967 she led a delegation of students that met President Obote to propose a practical solution to late student tuition and allowances by the UN Refugee Agency for students of Rwandan origin who were refugees in Uganda.  The matter was resolved shortly after.

In 1968 she was part of a student delegation that made representations to British Members of Parliament and High Commission in Nairobi demanding an end to the executions of black nationalists in Rhodesia.  Their representations contributed to the Queen Elizabeth II of England to issuing a royal condemnation of the killings.

In 1969, as well as a degree, Cecilia Atim was awarded the Indira Ghandi memorial prize for excellent performance in Commerce from the University of Nairobi.

She also held a Certificate in Human Resources Management from what was then called the Institute of Public Administration, but is now known as Uganda Management Institute. She held two other certificates; one in Christian-Based Values from the Haggai Institute, Singapore, and the other in Public-Private Partnership, from Australia.

From 1970, Imat worked for the Intra-Africa Traders, a Government Agency responsible for developing trade policy and enhancing export opportunities for the Country. She excelled in her role and played a large role in formulating and implementing policy to boost industrial production and export of Ugandan goods. Following the 1971 coup and the persecution of UPC supporters and Langi by the Amin regime, the family fled the country and went into exile in Kenya in 1976 due to threats on Imat’s life

From 1979 until 1980, Ogwal worked at the Uganda Embassy in Kenya, as the Liaison Officer for Returning Ugandan Refugees. From 1980 until 1981, she worked as the Operations Manager at the Uganda Advisory Board of Trade. In 1982, she was one of the founders of Housing Finance Bank, working there until 1984. She served as the Chairperson of Uganda Development Bank, from 1981 until 1986.

She became involved in Ugandan politics, serving as the Acting Secretary General of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) from 1985 to 1992. In 1994, she was part of the Constituent Assembly which drafted and promulgated the 1995 Ugandan Constitution. She remained a high-ranking official in the UPC political party until 2004. In 2011, Ogwal contested and won the Women’s Representative seat for the newly created Dokolo District. This time she switched political parties and ran as a full member of the Forum for Democratic Change party.

Ogwal was happily married to Mr Lamek Smart Ogwal on  7th February 1970 and together they had ten children. In 1969, at the age of 23 Ogwal was a member of parliamentary Committee of Physical Infrastructure in charge of overseeing and covering policy matters related to Lands, Housing, Urban development, Works and Transport, and Physical Planning. She was also a member of the budget committee and at the time of her death she was the Uganda Chapter Chairperson Pan African Women Organization (PAWO).

Imat was always very religious. She was raised as a staunch catholic and maintained her catholicism in early political career. However, in the mid-eighties, one of her sons, Henry Okello got born again. This triggered her interest in seeking Christ deeper. Having been challenged by Henry’s faith, Imat started studying the Bible, and eventually had a personal encounter with Christ that completely changed her life. From the time she gave her life to Christ, nothing has rivaled Imat’s love for God and the Church. Her politics, personal relationships and ambitions have all been centered on her call by Christ. Driven by this love, Imat had a passion for widows and orphans and gave a lot to improve on their circumstances. She also gave extensively to the building of churches. Imat’s strength, energy and wisdom was cultivated in hours of prayer, fasting and Bible study.

On Tuesday, 23rd January 2024, the body departs Parliament to All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero for a Funeral Service at 9:00am and thereafter to Dokolo via Soroti for a vigil at Adok Sub-County, Dokolo District.

On Wednesday, 24th January 2024, the body departs Adok for a Joint Council sitting at Dokolo District Headquarters from 9:00am to 2:00pm and thereafter proceeds to Lira City for a vigil.

On Thursday, 25th January 2024, the body departs the Lira City residence for a Church Service at St. Augustine Cathedral, Bar Ogole at 9:00am thereafter leaves for St. Paul Church, Alito Archdeaconry, Kole District for Service at 3:00pm, thereafter, the body leaves for her home in Dog Gudu Cell, Alito Town Council, Kole District for the vigil.

There will a Funeral Service at her home in Alito on Friday, 26th January 2024 at 10:00am and viewing of the body.

On Saturday, 27th January 2024, burial programme will commence at 9:00am.

Informed are; Relatives, Friends and In-laws.                                                                                                

MAY HER SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.

 

 

 

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