Burial of High Jump Champ Hangs in Balance Due to Lack of Funds

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In short
However, by Friday evening, the burial committee led by George Michael Egunyu, the Soroti LC V chairperson was yet raise even 1 million out of the 15 million shillings budgeted for the funeral arrangements.

The committee tasked to handle the burial of the late Patrick Etolu, the former national high jump champion is struggling to raise the 15 million budgeted for his funeral arrangements. Etolu died on Christmas Eve at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala. His body is expected to be laid to rest in Asinge Cell in Madera Ward in Soroti Municipality this afternoon. However, by Friday evening, the burial committee led by George Michael Egunyu, the Soroti LC V chairperson was yet raise even 1 million out of the 15 million shillings budgeted for the funeral arrangements.

The committee resolved to borrow 5 million shillings and later 2 million shillings but no one came up. Joseph Osire, the treasurers of the burial committee informed the mourners on Friday evening that they had spent 502,000 shillings of the 952,000 shillings they had initially collected from the community. He said the remaining money would be used to buy beans, Posho and some of the burial materials such as bricks, wire mesh, angle bars and Iron sheets because it is not enough. Egunyu said that if they fail to release the required funds they will be left with no option but to borrow additional funds.

Martin Eyayu, the Secretary burial group Asinge cell told URN that they were still awaiting assistance from state house. Teddy Acam, an NRM mobiliser said president Museveni financed the treatment of the late Etolu at Mulago national hospital adding that, it is unfortunate that he died when the president was away from the country. She however assured the mourners that statehouse will contribute to the burial of the late Etolu. Paul Okello, the son to the late said UPDF through Charles Angina had provided a coffin, a half bag of beans, a bag of posh, cooking oil and transported the body to Soroti.
 
Mary Amajo, private secretary to the President couldn’t be reached for comment as her phone was switched off. The 78-year-old Patrick Etolu was part of the maiden team that represented Uganda in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. Etolu held the national High Jump record of 1.96 meters from the mid 1950's until 1999. He has also been the only surviving member of Uganda’s maiden team that traveled to the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He is survived by a widow, six children and 20 grand children. 

 

Mentioned: state house

About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.