Members of Parliament have applauded fallen Joyce Mpanga for leaving behind a great legacy. Led by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, MPs eulogised Mpanga as one of the greatest icons of Uganda.
As a former Minister for Women Affairs, former Minister for Primary Education and former Mubende DWR, having been the first woman to join LEGCO in 1960,Tayebwa said that Mpanga has been one of the few people who have witnessed Uganda’s history from colonialism to the present day.
“She inspired many young women to go to school at the time when society was mainly promoting boy child education. I have been checking the Hansards, and there are two things that defined her, she was always fighting for the marginalized and she was always very passionate in fighting against corruption,” he said.
Tayebwa in a special way, extended his condolences to Daudi Mpanga, whom he described as a brother and personal friend for some time, and has been his client for some good years.
“I never had the chance to meet Joyce, but at least I am very satisfied that through Daudi Mpanga, I have met her because if you bring up a child of that stature and that character, I am sure that child would have learned from such a character,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga described Mpanga as a spirited patriot, a mother and incorruptible leader.
“I would like to uphold her as a mother, for taking care of her children, she isn’t leaving behind a problem for the nation,” Mpuuga said.
He noted that although Mpa left for the United Kingdom after the attack of the Lubiri in 1966 and in her memoir, It is a Pity She Isn’t Boy, recounted the impunity that consumed the 1970s regime and how often politicians got drunk on power at the expense of the people they served, but the same things that prompted her to flee Uganda are currently happening in Uganda.
“The deceased has been a key pillar in the democratization of Uganda. Sadly, all efforts at democratization of our country are being undermined by the incumbent rulers through unquestionable amendments to the constitution, impunity, outright disregard of the law,” he said.
According to Mpuuga, some of the things that prompted Mpanga to flee to exile are in existence today.
“The forced disappearance of our people, political persecution and gross rights violations, which has forced our women and men to flee for safety until we address some of these issues to democratize our country, it isn’t yet Uhuru,” he added.
Dokolo MP Cecilia Ogwal mocked some Ministers who said that Mpanga died when government still needed her to participate in policy formulation, wondering why they didn’t seek for her opinion when she was still alive.
“Somebody is saying Joyce would have participated in the formulation of policies, Joyce just died yesterday, how many of you called onto her to consult her on anything in the development of women agenda or anything. Why didn’t you call on her? Let us wake up as Ugandans and use our own resources before we go out to look for Europeans. So Joyce forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing,” said Ogwal.
Ogwal also asked government to remember giant heroes like Joyce Mpanga, because women of her generation were already bashed by the tradition and culture, which calls for the need to remember the role they played, because that is all they ask for.