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Museveni mourns the death of Fr. Simon Lokodo

President Yoweri Museveni has mourned the passing of the Former Minister of Ethics and Integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo. Fr. Lokodo passed on at University Hospital Geneva, Switzerland.

He died while on official duty leading a delegation from the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) at the 40th session of Universal Periodic Review. He joined UHRC 29th September 2021 when he took oath of office and at the time of his demise, he was serving as a commissioner.

“I have received the news of Fr Simon Lokodo’s death with a heavy heart. Fr Lokodo served the nation gallantly as our Ethics and Integrity Minister during which his firmness against immorality and his desire to enforce culture exceedingly stood out. I am pained! He will be missed.” Museveni said.

At the age of 49, Lokodo first entered politics to contest a special election on 29 June 2006, following the death of the incumbent Member of Parliament. He was ex-communicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI when he entered politics. He won the special election and began representing Dodoth County, Kaabong District, in the parliament.

 In February 2009, he was appointed to the cabinet as the Minister of State for Industry and Technology. In the cabinet reshuffle of 27 May 2011, he was relocated to the Ethics and Integrity portfolio, replacing Nsaba Buturo. In the cabinet reshuffle of 1 March 2015, he retained his cabinet post.

He was well known for challenging homosexuality in all forms. In 2012, he and the police raided and shut down a gay activist workshop. He was quoted as saying, “I have closed this conference because it’s illegal. We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda.” He also blamed foreigners, saying they should “go back home”. Amnesty International condemned the raid.

In 2014, Stephen Fry interviewed Lokodo in Stephen Fry: Out There, where he was quoted as saying “…men raping girls. Which is natural.” Fry later revealed in 2016 that he had tried to commit suicide in the hours after the interview.

In February 2014, dress code legislation was enacted, aimed primarily at women. Clothes that are considered revealing or sexually provocative were to be outlawed; “If you dress in such a way that you irritate the mind and excite the people then you are badly dressed; if you draw the attention of the other person outside there with a malicious purpose of exciting and stimulating him or her into sex,” Lokodo stated.

He served as the elected Member of Parliament representing Dodoth County, Kaabong District until he lost his Parliamentary seat in January 2021. At the time of his death on 29 January 2022.

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