By Twaha Mukiibi
The City of Oxford was at the weekend brought nearly to a standstill as it witnessed a rare occasion during a funeral service for the mother of famous Ugandan politicians. Large crowds watched in amazement as Josephine Amato Otunnu, often referred to as ‘Mama Otunnu’ and mother to Ambassador Olara Otunnu, the current leader of one of Uganda’s oldest political parties, the Uganda Peoples Congress and Amii Omara Otunnu, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, USA and current leader of the recently formed Freedom and Unity Front was interred. Mama Otunnu was 85.
In a glittering ceremony where scarcely a tear was seen to have been shed, hundreds of Ugandans and friends of the Otunnu family gathered at the Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford on Saturday for what was truly a thanksgiving service for the life of Mama Otunnu who passed away on December 22nd at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
In a rare show of traditional pomp and ceremony away from home, Mama Otunnu’s casket was accompanied by a troop of traditionally dressed Acholi men and women armed with spears and shields dancing and singing the processional song “Wek Lalworo Odok Ingeya-CER” Revival song in the procession across the quad. Entering the Cathedral, the escorting troop was joined by the congregation in singing the “Wilobo Kulu Wupak Lalar-Lubara me CER” Revival song.