Opposition absent as Parliament eulogizes MP William Beijukye

Opposition legislators yesterday shunned a special session, called to pay tribute to the fallen Member of Parliament for Ruhaama Country William Beijukye Zinkuratiire.

Beijukye, 46, a first-time legislator, came to parliament in 2016 replacing Janet Kataaha Museveni, who had served two terms as the area MP.

He died of Hepatitis B from Nsambya hospital on Friday.

He was honoured with a special session in which fellow legislators' paid glowing tribute to him as a man of great character.

The motion to pay tribute was tabled by the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs Ali Kirunda Kivejinja describing the deceased as honest hardworking and innovative.

He said all projects the late put his hands in sprouted and are doing fine.

Agago County MP Edward Otto Makmot who seconded the motion described the deceased as a peace lover and a person who was yet to bring a lot to the country.

Education minister Janet Museveni said the deceased was dependable and honest and that his sudden departure will be missed.

However, opposition members were absent through the session. Government ministers took over the moment of laying wreaths on behalf of the opposition, whose absence was not explained.

Ruth Nankabirwa, the Government chief whip laid the wreath on behalf of the Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza, while Chris Baryomunsi the State for Housing laid the wreath on behalf of secretary-general of the Forum for Democratic Change, Nandala Mafabi.

Mwesigwa Rukutana the Deputy Attorney General laid the wreath on behalf of the Uganda People's Congress whip Santa Alum and Julius Maganda, the state minister for East African Affairs laid the wreath on behalf of the Democratic Party whip.

The opposition whip's wreath was laid by Bright Rwamirama, the minister of state for Veteran Affairs. However,  attempts to speak to the opposition members were futile as many of their phone calls went unanswered.

Zinkuratiire becomes the fourth legislator to die in the 10th Parliament.

The others are former Iganga woman MP Grace Hailat Kaudha Magumba who died after suffering pregnancy-related complications, Moroto woman MP Annie Logiel died after undergoing brain surgery in Sweden and Toroma County MP Cyrus Amodoi Imalingat who died in a motor accident along the Kampala-Jinja highway.

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