Hundreds pay tribute to fallen Trade Ministry PS Amb. Onen

Kampala, Uganda: It was a moment of worship characterized by somberness, tears, and celebration of the life of a leading former diplomat.

This was the mood as scores of mourners gathered at Our Lady of Africa Church in Mbuya on Thursday to pay tribute to the fallen Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, Amb. Julius B. Onen. Onen passed on early this week at Paragon hospital in Kampala.

Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Minister Hon. Amelia Kyambadde said when she joined the ministry, as a politician she used to issue directives, talk a lot and did not listen but Amb Onen mentored her never to do anything without referring to the law.

Foreign Affair Minister Sam Kutesa paid tribute to Onen describing him as an ‘excellent diplomat who left an indelible mark. Kutesa’s remarks were aired out by Mr. Henry Okello Oryem, the state minister for International Affairs.

“Amb Onen produced the young crop of ambassadors using his fine-tuned negotiation skills. He will be remembered as a decisive man in policy and administrative issues,” Kutesa said in a statement read by Henry Oryem.

The cross-section of mourners who paid tribute to the fallen ‘hero’ heaped praises on him describing Onen as a person of ‘high moral character’.

For his good deeds, he was posthumously accorded the ‘Par Excellence Rating’ in recognition of his outstanding service.

Amb James Mugume who succeeded the late Onen said he was surprised that the fallen diplomat anointed him as his successor.

However, when he moved to Ministry of Trade, he was impressed by how the late started negotiations which have resulted in the mushrooming industries, the recapitalization of Uganda Development Bank, the revival of Co-operative Union and the Buy Uganda, Build Uganda [BUBU] policy.

The Government in remarks presented by the Deputy Chief Justice Owiny Dollo described Onen’s death as ‘very unfortunate’. “Amb. Onen died at a time when he had started to help rebuild the socio-economic life of Acholi after the insurgency which started in the 1960s. it is so unfortunate that he died before he achieved this,” said Dollo.

The deceased’s wife, Eunice Onen described her late husband as a passionate, creative, loving and hardworking man. “Whenever he was at home, he always kept busy and always had a pen and paper, making notes and penning down new ideas,” she said.

Amb. Onen will be laid to rest on Saturday in Dima, Kiryadongo along the Kampala Gulu High way.

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