FDC clashes mar Sarah Eperu's burial in Ngora

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FDC clashes mar Sarah Eperu's burial in Ngora
FDC leader Patrick Amuriat accused Katonga faction leader Kizza Besigye of "turning the late Sarah Eperu funeral into a joke".

NGORA | Opposition stalwart Kizza Besigye could not speak at the funeral of former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) women league spokesperson and activist Sarah Eperu as the divided party sunk low in trading shameless accusations instead.

The late Eperu's burial in Koloin, Ngora District, descended into clashes on Saturday as the Katonga and Najjanankumbi factions of FDC traded accusations of 'body theftand exclusion.

This resulted in a heated confrontation that prompted angry mourners to intervene and halt proceedings.

The final send-off of FDC stalwart Sarah Eperu took a contentious turn after angry mourners started exchanging words over who should speak, prompting the priest to proceed with the burial without speeches from distinguished persons.

"How can visitors talk without home owners? We thought it's the owner of the home to welcome a visitor," mourners said.

Patrick Amuriat (left) and his former mentor Kizza Besigye put aside their difference for a brief moment

Dr Besigye, who was chief mourner at the burial, denounced the abrupt end to speeches and the exclusion of parliamentary representatives from eulogising the late Eperu.

He said Eperu's affiliation with the FDC Katonga faction  was never in doubt and lamented the disregard for her legacy.

"Up to now I do not know the cause of this, all the MPs were on the programme, even my Brother [Patrick] Amuriat, I still don't know where and how it started," Dr Besigye said in an impromptu news briefing.

But FDC resident Amuriat instead accused Besigye of trivialising the funeral of the late Eperu.

Amuriat's group draped the casket with FDC flag, officially claimng responsibility for the funeral

"Besigye has come here to turn Sarah's funeral into a joke," he said, before accusing the Katonga faction of failing to handle the body of the late Eperu.

However, the Koloin Parish Priest, the Rev Fr John Eriau, called for reconciliation, stressing the need for forgiveness amidst political strife.

"If forgiveness is not given chance then we shall not realise development," Fr Eriau said.

Hundreds of mourners converged in Koloin to bid farewell to the late Eperu, a political and rights activist who dedicated the last two decades of her life to FDC party mobilisation.

Eperu, who died on Sunday from renal complications at Life Link Hospital in Kampala, was laid to rest on Saturday at her ancestral home in Koloin.

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