Police to Accord First Ugandan IGP Official Burial

The late IGP Erinayo Wilson Oryema
The late IGP Erinayo Wilson Oryema

Police is to accord the body of Wilson Erinayo Oryema, the first Ugandan Inspector General of Police a decent burial.

Oryema was killed by government operatives in February 1977 together with the Arch Bishop Janan Luwum and former defense Minister Oboth Ofumbi during the reign of the late Idi Amin.

The trio was arrested by government operatives on February 16th 1977 for allegedly planning a coup against government.

A day later Radio Uganda, the government owned broadcaster ran announcements claiming that they had been killed in a head-on collision while being transported to an interrogation center. But Henry Kyemba, the former health minister in Amin’s regime wrote in his book ‘A state of blood’ claiming that their bodies were riddled with bullets. Now, Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa Regional police spokesperson says that the late Oryema was not accorded a descent burial.

He says police will hold a national burial for the deceased in his ancestral home in Tani village in Purongo sub county Nwoya district in September as part of its centenary celebrations. Okema explains that the late Oryema did a lot to shape the future of the Uganda police force.

Simon Peter Wafana, the Aswa regional police commander says the reburial will be a symbol of Unity. He says the official burial of Oryema’s remain will recognize the importance of the people from northern Uganda and the role of cops. Born in 1917, Oryema worked as a teacher before joining the police force in March 1939. He attended Britain’s renowned Peel Centre (Police Training Academy) at Hendon, as well as Brownshillnear Coventry.

He was appointed the first African Inspector General of the Uganda Police on the 17th April 1964 by then Prime Minister, the late Dr Apollo Milton Obote. He succeeded Michael Macoun who became an advisor to the Uganda Government, before leaving the country for Britain in September 1964. He also served as Minister of Land, Mineral, and Water Resources between 1971 to1974 before moving on to the Land, Housing and Physical Planning ministry where he served until when he met his death.

Oryema left behind 8 children including Geoffrey Oryema, an international artists Gertrude and Willam Oryema among others. The Uganda Police was established in 1905 according to the UPF.

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