Democratic Party president Norbert Mao entered the New Year with a tinge of grief with the loss of the man he has said in previous interviews nurtured and honed him into one of the country’s key political figures.
Mr Mao on Sunday took to his Facebook page to share the news of his father’s passing on, “With great sorrow I announce the death of my father Dusman Okee. Father, teacher, mentor, soldier and cereal chemist. To me he was both father and mother. We called him the lion.”
Mzee Okee who was born on January 5 1942 died in Jinja in the wee hours of Sunday Morning. Human rights lawyer and founder of Chapter Four Nicholas Opiyo, a nephew to the deceased said he had a history of “hypertension and diabetes which precipitated his death.”
By press time, the family was still locked in back and forth meetings weighing the option of laying the old man to rest in Buikwe district or Gulu, his ancestral home.
At the time of his demise, the deceased had retired from public life having served as a councillor in Njeru and the grain milling industry in Jinja. Mr Okee’s backyard has over the years emerged as a family of eminent politicians and civil leaders from Acholi, most going through Okee’s honing hands including lawyer Opiyo, Mao, East African Legislative Assembly speaker Dan Kidega.
Mr Mao and Opiyo have spoken highly of his all-embracing attitude to Uganda’s ethnically diverse societies, often time playing a father role to children far and wide from home.