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 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 25million, foundation Shillings 800million, ground flour Shillings 500 million, first floor Shillings 365million, roofing Shillings 530million while the windows, curtain walls, and doors are estimated to cost Shillings 761 million.
Norbert Mao, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs said the portrait of Lt. Gen Lokech should be placed at Gulu City Council Hall to celebrate the great works he did.
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. Let’s work together to ensure that the foundation is well established,” Anywar said.
During the memorial prayer, Shillings 8.8million was raised for the foundation and another Shillings 38 million in pledges. Lt. Gen. Lokech died on August 21, 2021, at his residence in Kiira Municipality, Wakiso District.