Breaking

3 Oyite Ojok Children Enter Lango Political Fray

Almost 40 years after the death of General David Oyite Ojok, three members of his family are in the running for different political positions in Lango sub region. Linda Agnes Auma, a daughter, is now the official NRM party flag bearer for Lira District Woman MP after winning in the Primaries on Friday, September 4. Her young sister Vicky Atim wants to represent Loro Sub County in Oyam District Council. Unlike Auma, Atim wants to carry the UPC flag. The two are joined by Shakila Among, a granddaughter of Oyite Ojok, who is in another political contest to represent the Youth in Lira City Council.

Audio 6

Almost 40 years after the death of General David Oyite Ojok, three members of his family are in the running for different political positions in Lango sub region.

Linda Agnes Auma, a daughter, is now the official NRM party flag bearer for Lira District Woman MP after winning in the Primaries on Friday, September 4. Her young sister Vicky Atim wants to represent Loro Sub County in Oyam District Council. Unlike Auma, Atim wants to carry the UPC flag. The two are joined by Shakila Among, a granddaughter of Oyite Ojok, who is in another political contest to represent the Youth in Lira City Council.

This comes 37 years after General Oyite Ojok died in a helicopter crash in Luweero on December 3, 1983. Ojok, then the Chief of Staff of the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA), was one of the most powerful figures in the second Milton Obote government until his death. 

At the time of his death, he was commanding major offensives against the rebels of the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Museveni.

Different Parties, Same Family

After years in relative silence, Oyite Ojok’s family members are now out into the limelight that their father loved.

It is turning out to be a case of one family stretched across two different political parties and two districts.

Linda Agnes Auma is in the contest for Lira Woman parliamentary seat while Vicky Atim, her young sister, wants to represent Loro Sub County in Oyam District Local Council.

Shakila Among, who is also the 2019/2020 Miss Tourism for Northern Uganda, is aspiring to represent the Youth in Lira City Council.

Although Auma is a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, Atim has remained true to her soldier-father’s love, the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC).     Oyite Ojok, a strong supporter of UPC, died fighting in a war launched by Museveni, the founder of the NRM. The war would end in 1986 with Museveni capturing power and establishing government. Thirty-four years later, Museveni is still in charge of government.   

Auma first showed her interest in politics in the 2016 general elections when she stood for the Lira Woman parliamentary seat but lost in the primaries. The seat would eventually go to Joy Ongom, a UPC candidate.

Subsequently, President Museveni appointed Auma as Resident District Commissioner (RDC) in Amuru District where she has served till this when she came back to politics.

A staunch NRM party member, she is the NRM Vice Chairperson for Lira District and has represented the youth at the NRM Youth Council as well as the National Youth Council.

Auma initially wanted to stand for the new Woman Parliamentary seat for Lira City, but had to give way for Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng, the Minister of Health, who is unopposed in the primaries.

In an exclusive interview, Auma says she opted to join politics to serve the people. According to her, the people in Lira need a leader who understands the dynamics of NRM party and can navigate it to deliver their desired services.

She boasts that her leadership skills came straight from her late father and was groomed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

//Cue in: “My dad used… 

Cue out: … closer to them.”//

Asked why she is running under the NRM ticket and not any other party, Auma says she owes her life to the NRM regime. 

//Cue in: “President Museveni identified… 

Cue out: …stay with him.”// 

Despite the challenges which come with politics, Auma says she is determined to carry on in the footsteps of her father for she has a mission to accomplish.

//Cue in: “I loved my… 

Cue out: … will make it.”//  

Auma is now the official NRM party flag bearer for Lira District Woman MP after winning in the Primaries on Friday, September 4. She garnered 9,686 votes, beating five other contestants in the race.  

Unlike Auma, Vicky Atim is new in politics, but she is ready to dive in. A resident of Alidi ‘A’ village in Loro sub county, Atim her father’s ancestral home as a Female Councillor in Oyam District Council.

Atim is the opposite of Auma in character. She’s reserved but she’s a splitting image of her father. 

Before joining politics this year, Atim was the branch manager Uganda Red Cross Society in Apac District, a position she resigned from after showing her political interest.

Atim says she is now ready to carry on with her father’s legacy of serving Uganda and actively representing her people, a reason why she is not bothered about her family’s past experience.

//Cue in: “I really want… 

Cue out: … respond to it.”//

She says UPC flows in her blood, the reason why she is looking forward to holding the party flag.

//Cue in: “You know they… 

Cue out: … to handle it.”

She says her elder sister inspired her to join politics. “My sister Linda Agnes Auma happened to be a very senior and serious politician and has been in this field. She knows it and she is my mentor.”

Atim believes that she is the rightful person to represent the people of Loro sub county because of her competence and her father’s legacy.

“I know that I am the right person to represent them. I am convinced that I am the right person…whether in NRM or UPC they will have to support me because I am competent and they should give back to my father as well.”

She says her father is a hero, not just to them as children but to Loro, Lango and Uganda. 

“They should be proud because a hero comes from there, the legacy should continue,” she adds.

Joe Erem, a voter from Loro is excited that a daughter of Oyite Ojok has shown interest in politics. He however wonders why she opted for what he called a smaller position when she could have aimed higher. 

“I love the zeal in this family and trust me Vicky Atim has my vote. But she should have stood for a higher position,” he said.

Jacob Ocen, the Lira NRM Publicity secretary, who is also a close member of the family, believes that the two women are strategically placed to lead in their various capacities if given a chance. 

Ocen says Auma is an ideal candidate to steer Lira to its greater heights.

//Cue in: “Politics is not… 

Cue out: … is very strong.”//

Patricia Anget, another daughter of General Oyite Ojok who works with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had also expressed her interest in the Lira Woman MP seat. 

However, she was later advised to back down to leave her elder sister to stand as she waits for her turn in 2026. 

She took the advice positively and cancelled her nomination. She was also coming under the NRM ticket.      

Comrades turned foes    

Those who look at Museveni and Oyite Ojok only through the Luweero war lenses might fail to appreciate the fact that before the two became foes they had been comrades in the war that toppled President Idi Amin in 1979. By fate or destiny, the two found themselves living in exile in Tanzania shortly after the January 1971 military coup that brought Amin to power.    

At the time of the coup, Museveni was working as a researcher in President Milton Obote’s office while Oyite Ojok was a young and fast-rising military officer, among the best trained in the Uganda Army at the time. They both must have been thinking about a good future when Amin came onto the scene, sending Obote and his close advisors into exile.    

With the support of the Tanzania government, Oyite Ojok would, in 1978, lead Kikosi Maalum fighting group while Museveni led the Fronasa rebels in a war that ended in April 1979 with Amin’s ouster.    

The two military men would serve the three subsequent but unstable governments that came after Amin until the elections of December 1980 which was the key point of departure. After the elections, Oyite Ojok retained his powerful position of Chief of Staff while Museveni headed to the high grasses of Luweero to fight the army Oyite Ojok was commanding. It was during this war that Oyite Ojok together with nine other military officers died in a helicopter crash.