Former ethics and integrity minister Rev Fr Simon Lokodo is dead. He passed away in the wee hours of Saturday morning in Geneva, Switzerland.
At 64 years, Lokodo was a member of the Uganda Human rights commission and had traveled to Switzerland to represent the chairman of the commission during the Universal Periodic Review working group which is reviewing Uganda’s human rights record. Its reported he collapsed during a meeting and later was rushed to the intensive care where he lost his life from.
The UHRC confirmed his passing in a tweet on its official twitter account saying in a statement, “It’s with great shock and pain that we have learnt of the passing of our Honourable Member of the Commission, Fr. Simon Lokodo. He passed on this morning in Geneva, Switzerland. The Commission will share details in due course. May the Almighty Rest His Soul in Eternal Peace.”
It’s with great shock and pain that we‘ve learnt of the passing of our Honourable Member of the Commission, Fr. Simon Lokodo. He passed on this morning in Geneva Switzerland 🇨🇭. The Commission will share details in due course.
May the Almighty Rest His Soul in Eternal Peace. pic.twitter.com/G83VsgVxs4
— Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) (@UHRC_UGANDA) January 29, 2022
Speaking to URN, Crispin Kaheru, a member of UHRC said that Lokodo left the country on Tuesday and at the time, did not have any health complications. However, the team in Geneva reported that he started feeling unwell during the session.
“We are told that during the session, he did not feel well. He was taken to a hospital in Geneva. The hospital proposed that he should be retained for further tests. Upon the results coming back, they said he should be held. He has been in the hospital for about two days,” Kaheru said according to The Observer.
Following his death, the deputy speaker of the parliament of Uganda Ms. Anita Among described him as a leader who served with dedication and had so much of life ahead of him.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Hon. Fr Simon Lokodo ,the people of Karamoja and the Country. The Country has lost a Leader who served with dedication and had so much life ahead of him. May his Soul find eternal rest,” the deputy Speaker, Ms Among wrote on twitter.
My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Hon. Fr Simon Lokodo ,the people of Karamoja and the Country.The Country has lost a Leader who served with dedication and had so much life ahead of him.May his Soul find eternal rest.@Parliament_Ug. pic.twitter.com/ndfhK77x3q
— Anita Annet Among (@AnitahAmong) January 29, 2022
The speaker of the parliament too, Jacob Oulanyah mourned the passing of the politician writing on twitter:
Commiserations to the family of Fr Simon Lokodo, former Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, and Dodoth West Member of Parliament, who at the time of his death served as member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission @UHRC_UGANDA.
May his soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/2hX3EbQ9za
— Jacob Oulanyah (@JacobOulanyah) January 29, 2022
Before crossing to politics, Simon Lokodo was parish priest for Kaabong Parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kotido and had a bachelors degree in theology from the pontifical urbanian university and a master’s degree in Theology obtained from the University of Rome. He also had diplomas in Rural Sociology, Social Communication, Philosophy and Social Science.
Following his win in 2006 in by-election for Dodoth county member of parliament, he was ex-communicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI but that didn’t stop him from seeking more higher positions in politics.
He was appointed Minister of State for Industry and technology in 2009 and held the position until 2011 when he appointed as the state minister of state for ethics and integrity in the office of the president of Uganda, a position that was initially held by Nsaba Buturo.