Shocked mourners have converged at Dr. Stephen Malinga's home to share memories of an MP they describe as God-sent, a man who worked for his people and was dedicated to seeing his people become prosperous.
Dr. Malinga, also Minister of Disaster Preparedness, passed away at about 10:00pm last night at his up country home in Akoboi village in Butebo Sub County, Pallisa district.
Pastor John Otude from Butebo trading centre, describes Dr. Malinga as a hero who returned home from the United States of America in the early 90’s to rescue Pallisa district which then had just attained a district status.
He says Malinga’s election as a legislator in 1996 brought light to Pallisa district as he initiated several development projects including among others bringing piped water to Pallisa, initiated income generating projects for the disadvantaged group, opened and improved road networks.
He says Malinga’s death is a big blow not only to those in Pallisa district but all Ugandans.
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James Opendu, another voter, says Pallisa is now gone. He says without late Dr. Malinga, all their hopes have evaporated. Opendu says Malinga was such a kind and loving person who never turned his back to any person who approached him for assistance.
He says with Malinga’s two appointments at different portfolios as person in charge of health and disaster preparedness respectively, they were happy as he did all he could to develop Pallisa district, something he says they will miss forever.
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John Okurut from Akoboi village says Malinga’s death has shocked everybody as they were not aware that their legislator was suffering from any ill health. He says Malainga’s death will slow the pace at which Pallisa district was developing.
He called upon the mourners to join hands and support the bereaved family at this moment as they pay back for the goodwill the deceased exhibited while he served the country not only as a member of parliament but also as two time cabinet minister.
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The 69-year-old Minister collapsed shortly after eating supper at his home and died.
According to his farm manager Peter Olim, the Minister arrived at the home from Kampala at about 6:00pm on Thursday. He went direct to visit his citrus orange farm, just a few metres from his compound.
He narrates that after coming back from the farm, he attended to the voters including his brothers who had visited him up to about 9:30pm when he had supper together with his wife Beatrice Malinga. He immediately went to bed without complaining of any ill-health.
Olim says they were shocked when his wife called them from the house telling them the Minister had collapsed.
He says minutes after, together with his body guards, they rushed him to Butebo Health Centre IV where health workers pronounced him dead on arrival. Dr. Malinga had history of diabetes and high blood pressure.
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At 4:00am on Friday, his body was transported to Mulago Hospital mortuary where it is currently lying.
Dr. Malinga returned to Uganda and entered politics in 1995, after several years in United State of America.
He was elected Member of Parliament for Butebo County, in Pallisa District, in 1996, a position he held up to the time he died.
He served as the chairman of the UPC caucus in the 7th Parliament but on March 1, 2005, Dr. Stephen Malinga, shocked everyone when he crossed to the NRM ruling party by accepting a Movement tee-shirt from President Museveni, who was on a tour of eastern Uganda.
He served as the Minister for Health from 2006 until 2011, when he was appointed as Minister in charge of Disaster Preparedness.
He is survived by two wives and eight children after he lost a son last year.