Late PS Onen accorded Par Excellence rating

Friday March 15 2019

Rest in peace. Julius Onen. PHOTO BY NELSON

Rest in peace. Julius Onen. PHOTO BY NELSON WESONGA 


Kampala. Mourners have praised the late Ministry of Trade permanent secretary ambassador Julius Baker Onen for “moral clarity” and posthumously accorded him Par Excellence rating in recognition of his outstanding service.
Mr Sam Kutesa, the Foreign Affairs minister, who was his boss as a diplomat, described the late as a one who served his country with maximum dedication that left an indelible mark in Foreign service.
“He 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,” Mr Kutesa said in a statement read for him by his junior minister Henry Oryem, at the requiem mass at Our Lady of Africa Church, Mbuya yesterday. “When I walked to Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004 where he was the permanent secretary, he assured me that I will do a fine job. He said having grown up in government, it was an advantage over colleagues,” Mr Oryem said, adding that among the Acholi community, death is considered “an idiot, damaging and unjust.”
Former Foreign Affairs PS 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 recapitalisation of Uganda Development Bank, the revival of Co-operative Union and the Buy Uganda, Build Uganda [BUBU] policy.
Ms Amelia Kyambadde, the Trade minister, 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.
Deputy Chief Justice Owiny Dollo who represented government said it is unfortunate that the late Onen died at a time when he had started to help rebuild the socio-economic life of Acholi after the insurgency which started in 1960s.
Ms Eunice Onen described her late husband as a hardworking, passionate and creative man who during his free time was always with a paper and pen writing down ideas.
“He was a straight forward man who never believed in excuses for no work done. If he believed in anything, you would never change his mind,” she said. Onen,71, will be laid to rest tomorrow in Diima on the Kampala-Gulu highway.