There was humiliation for National Unity Platform (NUP) President Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and his entourage at the home of Nathan Okori in Lalogi, Omoro District yesterday.
The humiliation followed a visit by Bobi Wine in the company of former UPC president Olara Otunnu to the home of Okori where they would condole with him following the loss of his son, the former speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.
Bobi who was in the company of around 20 people mostly NUP attached bloggers and live video teams arrived in Omoro in the morning.
He was also accompanied by Makindye East Legislator Derrick Nyeko and Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya.
On arriving, the group were told to park their cars about 200meters away from the house. Their media personnel were also put in a holding area and security was briefed to ensure their gadgets were switched off and not in use.
This was also a request from Okori who insisted he did not want any glamour of cameras and live videos. He insisted if they wanted to have their videos, then they should wait for a political rally.
When the entourage was seated, OKori started questioning Otunnu who had come as their mediator, the two went on and about culture and norms.
The questioning came after Bobi’s entourage presented a goat as a gift and condolence to Okori who rejected it outrightly.
“I am not a witch doctor, why would you bring me a goat? Take it where it belongs,” Okori said in the local dialect.
Indeed, the Residence District Commissioner (RDC) of Omoro, Andrew Onyuk who was present throughout the event confirmed that Bobi Wine and the team went back with their “tiny” goat after it was rejected.
It is said that goats or any form of animals are not acceptable as condolences in Acholi culture, they can only be given as a contribution to help in feeding mourners.
Condolences cause another disappointment
In the case that the goat had been rejected, Bobi and the team then started collecting condolences amongst themselves in the presence of Okori, another move that irked the elder.
He expressed his disappointments to them and urged them to be respectful.
“They started collecting the money while in his presence, one pulls out an shs5000 note and hands over, another an Shs10,000 and this was getting to the old man,” a source in the meeting told Nile Post.
Later, Okori asked that Bobi Wine and the team bring Shs2m since he is the President of the party.
“Since you are the president, you will bring Shs2m,” Okori said in the local dialect.
However, Bobi Wine would later explain to Okori that “I am poor president.”
He would then walk to Okori and hand over a folded envelope which Otunnu escorted with the words; “This is a broke president he only has Shs100,000”.
However other sources state that Bobi and the group managed to raise Shs200,000.
Initially, there were reports that the money was rejected by Okori, but deep throat sources confirm the condolence money that was not more than 200,000 was accepted.
The team was then allowed to place a wreath on Oulanyah’s grave and strictly asked not to take any pictures of videos.
“No cameras” Okori ordered.
Bobi Wine speaks out
Speaking out after the event, Bobi Wine confirmed that he personally delivered condolences to Okori.
“This morning I met Mzee Nathan Okori in Omoro and personally delivered my condolences over the death of his son the late Rt. Honourable Jacob Oulanyah. Thanks to the RDC Onyuk Andrew for the unusual hospitality.”
RDC Onyuk Speaks out
The RDC Onyuk who was part of the meeting later took a swipe at Bobi Wine.
“The confrontational mentality was surely outwitted by our transformational maturity and seniority. Wisdom! But it was very embarrassing when your team started collecting money in front of our Mzee. That’s why he rejected both the 200K & the tiny goat!”
Onyuk also expressed his disappointment with Bobi Wine’s team saying that they had deliberately planned to force him into a confrontation but they found him alert.
He said that the group had come with so many bloggers and video journalists with the aim of filming everything in their favour but found him ready and he put them in their place.
He also added that he was disappointed with the disorganisation they exhibited, collecting money in front of Oulanyah’s father and having no idea prior of the cultural norms for such an event.
“We were humiliated, after they said they had condolences, they started collecting it right there, this form of disorganisation was not only disappointing but embarrassing, to say the least,” Onyuk said.