Former ICT Minister Awori Laid to Rest

By APN Reporter

The former Information and Communications Technology (ICT) minister, Aggrey Siryoyi Awori has this afternoon been laid to rest in his country home, in Kibimba village in Buwuni town council in Bugiri district.

Awori who succumbed to COVID-19 died on 5th this month at the age of 82 years. Nafuna Awori, the deceased’s daughter revealed that prior to contracting COVID-19, Awori has been battling several health complications ranging from kidney failure to hypertension over the years.

Baisama Awori, also one of Awori’s children says their father was a Pan Africanist who taught them unity in diversity.  The Dokolo district woman MP Cecilia Ogwal says that Awori was a smart politician who laid foundations to foster East African political integration.

Awori represented Samia-Bugwe North, Busia District in the Ugandan Parliament from 2001 until 2006. He was an outspoken opposition member of parliament for the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) political party. In 2007, he abandoned the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement.

He studied at Harvard University on a scholarship majoring in political economics.  In 1967, Former President, Milton Obote appointed him the first local director of Uganda Television (UTV). In 1971, President Idi Amin jailed him for two months, for refusing to broadcast 1971 coup speech.

He went into political exile in Kenya, where he taught political journalism at the University of Nairobi until 1976 and then traveled around Africa visiting Tanzania, Liberia and Senegal and returning to Nairobi in 1979. After Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979, Awori returned to Uganda.

He ran for a seat in the National Assembly of Uganda, but lost. He then became Ambassador to the United States, until being transferred by Tito Okello Lutwa in 1985. He served as Uganda’s Ambassador to Belgium from 1985 until 1987, when he was dropped by Yoweri Museveni. After a brief asylum in Nairobi, Awori started to build up a rebel group operating from eastern Uganda named Force Obote Back Again (FOBA).

He stated that his reason for doing so was mainly anger at Museveni’s National Resistance Army, which had confiscated his property. In 1992, he dissolved his rebel group, which had consisted mainly of young fighters.

In 1993, Awori met with Museveni in New York and then was elected to the Constituent Assembly to make the Constitution and as a Member of Parliament. He came third in the 2001 presidential elections, polling 1.41% of the vote.