On Saturday 29th January, 2022, former Minister for Ethics and Integrity Father Simon Lokodo was announced dead in Geneva, Switzerland.
The news was made public through a Tweet from the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) altough they did not disclose what caused his death.
Other reports suggested that Father Lokodo had for long been battling illness that always saw him in and out of hospital on several occasions.
Besides that, we take a look at how Father Lokodo rose to the limelight and what the arts industry recalls about him.
First and foremost, the controversial former Dodoth County MP resisted a 2006 order by Pope Benedict XVI to abandon politics and was then stripped of his priesthood before his defeat in the 2021 general elections saw him lose his cabinet post in the government.
On the arts side, he is mostly remembered for wanting to bar the 2018 Nyege Nyege Festival from taking place as he claimed that it promotes live sex, drug abuse, and homosexuality.
His letter asking police to stop the event ignited mixed reactions amongst the organizers of the event and those that were already hyped to flock the festival in large numbers.
Fortunately, when a meeting was held, chaired by the Internal Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo, government, and the organizers of the festival, it was given a green light to go on as earlier planned.
The late is also remembered for starting up the nine-person Pornography Control Committee, in a bid to regulate consumption of pornographic material in Uganda.
This also awed the public when government approved Shs2 billion for the committee that was chaired by Dr. Anette Kezaabu Kasimbazi to commence work, in accordance to the Anti-pornography Act of 2014.
The other members on the committee included; Dr. Martin Sempa, lawyer Dalton Opwonya, Sheik Mohammad Ali Waiswa, Joan Kyomugisha, Gastone Byamugisha, Hafisa Kabagonja, Victoria Sentamu, and Fred Nyakori.
During this period of time, he promised to introduce a Shs300 million machine that would detect, control, and scrutinize porn on mobile handsets and other electronic devices but that didn’t come to pass.
He also started a strong campaign on the dress code that was banning women wearing very short mini-skirts within the city center.
In 2019 when the state minister for Tourism Mr. Godfrey Kiwanda launched a beauty pageant dubbed ‘Miss Curvy Uganda’, Lokodo threatened to call it off.
He reasoned that Kiwanda was misguided and maintained his stand that Uganda is a moral country and hence didn’t need such pageants.
My brother Kiwanda is misguided. This thing they are doing is very bad for the country. Uganda is a moral country. We have so many things we can use instead of women’s bodies.Father Simon Lokodo
A lot of pressure was piled on Kiwanda as Women Activist groups came out demanding for his resignation from the role of Minister of Tourism.
The memories when Lokodo fought socialite Jack Pemba over a sex tape that he leaked and cropped himself out of the video are as well still fresh in our minds.
May His Soul Rest In Peace!