Pader district has launched the construction of Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech Memorial Hospital. The launch coincided with the first memorial prayers for the late former Deputy Inspector General of Police, organized by the district.
Samuel Akena, the Organising Committee Secretary for the Memorial Prayer, says that they conceived the plan to build a hospital in honor of Lokech after his death because of his long-term desire to improve the health care system in the district.
Akena said the hospital is part of the work under the Paul Lokech Foundation, which was launched on August 8th, 2022, at his home in Kampala. He revealed that during the launch, family and well-wishers in Uganda raised Shillings 85 million and those in Canada raised Shillings 150 million to start the foundation.
Akena, who is also a member of the Pa’Lubele clan in Paipir Village, where Lokech hailed from, added the foundation will also provide education to disadvantaged children of the clan.
The Memorial Hospital, estimated to cost Shillings 2.967 billion, will be built with funds raised from friends, well-wishers, and locals. Preliminary work on the hospital is budgeted to cost Shillings 25 million, foundation Shillings 800 million, ground flour Shillings 500 million, first floor Shillings 365 million, roofing Shillings 530 million, while the windows, curtain walls, and doors are estimated to cost Shillings 761 million.
On August 28, 2021, leaders from the eight districts of Acholi resolved during their joint council meeting to hold an annual prayer in memory of Lokech. Sunday’s event marked the beginning of the annual event. The LC V Chairperson of Pader district, asked the government to make the 21st of every August a public holiday for Ugandans to celebrate the legacy of Lt Gen Paul Lokech, saying that Pader district will honor that day annually and no one will be expected to go to work then.
The portrait of Lt. Gen. Lokech should be displayed at Gulu City Council Hall, according to Norbert Mao, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
According to Mao, Lokech is like a great hunter whose exploits should be celebrated for years, just like the Acholi celebrated the bravery of past hunters.
The Inspector General of Police, John Martin Ochola, in his speech read by James Ocaya, the head of the Directorate for Research, Planning and Developing in the Uganda Police Force, said Lokech was an exceptional performer, who left a mark within just eight months as the deputy IGP. He praised those who attended the memorial and those who started the foundation to keep his legacy alive.
Richard Anywar, the Agago West MP, pledged to spearhead the lobbying of funds for the foundation, especially among fellow MPs. “Acholi Parliamentary Group-APG has experts who can raise this money. Anywar said. “Let’s work together to ensure that the foundation is well established.”
During the memorial prayer, Shillings 8.8 million were raised for the foundation and another Shillings 38 million were pledged. On August 21, 2021, Lt. Gen. Lokech passed away at his home in Kiira Municipality, Wakiso District.