100 BASOGAS DOING BIG THINGS IN K’LA NAMED
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By Mulengera Reporters
Since Independence, even when they have never produced the President of the land, the Basogas have always held powerful positions both in the politics and civil service. They have equally excelled in academia, corporate world, civil society, legal practice and other spheres. And in this weekend feature, Mulengera News profiles and reflects on some of the powerful sons and daughters of Kyabazinga who are calling shots in contemporary Uganda.
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Rebecca Kadaga: The Kamuli Woman MP and former Speaker of Parliament doesn’t need much introduction. Many fondly call her Mama Busoga to depict her mentorship role that has been on since the late 1980s when she first joined politics. The first female to open a law firm in Uganda has over the years been many things in Kampala including being Speaker of Parliament for 20 years (10 as Deputy and another 10 as full Speaker). This was preceded by a stint in Cabinet where she served as Minister in charge of regional cooperation.
Arguably the most influential political leader from Busoga, Kadaga (who disarmed adversaries by keeping quiet after the Speakership ouster) currently serves as the First Deputy Prime Minister besides being Minister in charge of East African Affairs. Many eminent Basogas in politics, business and public service credit her for their accomplishments.
Rukia Isanga Nakadama: The Mayuge Woman MP previously served as the State Minister for Culture at Gender and having successfully reclaimed her elective political position, she currently serves as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister. Because of the similar credentials (both of them being Muslims), Nakadama (who hails from a strong business family) is perceived by many to have been posted in Cabinet to fill the vacuum created by the death of Al-Haji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja who succumbed to Covid months ago.
Eng Ziria Tibalwa Wako: is a very powerful lady because as CEO for Uganda Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), which recently moved into its state of art headquarters in Industrial Area, she oversees the entire electricity sub sector including aspects like generation, distribution, transmission and pricing per unit. Should any disputes arise between say UMEME and any power consumer (institutional, domestic or industrial) she is the one to resolve that quarrel either personally or through delegation.
It’s a multi-trillion sub sector with plenty of foreign investments and Eng Ziria must authorize all the generation projects since such investors have to formally apply to her seeking authorization. Eng Ziria, one of the many generously mentored by ex-Energy PS Kabagambe Kaliisa, is a proud Musoga from Kaliro and is a loyal servant of the Kyabazinga.
Prof Mary Okwakol: currently serves as the CEO for Uganda National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) which has the last word on all matters concerning regulation of all the post-S6 education in Uganda. All tertiary institutions (University and none-University) fall under her and she is the lady who technically can decree the closure of any University in Uganda. The sector whose regulation she oversees generates hundreds of billions in taxes for the GoU annually. And because she and other officials at NCHE do such a good job, Ugandan continues to attract many foreign students from across the region to the extent even after Gen Museveni shutting down the education system for now 75 weeks, many of them are waiting until normalcy returns as opposed to enrolling somewhere else.
The eminent science educationist hails from Iganga and sits on the Janet Museveni-led top management team for the entire Education Sector. She initially lectured at Makerere before being prompted by the President to go and serve as the founding Vice Chancellor for Busitema University, a job she did with distinction. Prof Okwakol also serves as the Chairperson for Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) having taken over from the quarrelsome Fagil Mandy.
Eng Paul Naimanye: hails from Kamuli district (dad was big man in the defunct UEB) and currently serves as the Executive Director for Uganda Road Fund (URF) having replaced Eng Micheal Odong (currently the cultural leader for Lango). Attracting generous funding from both the GoU and donor community, the URF is mandated with facilitating road works for all roads (mostly upcountry) that lie outside the UNRA network. These are mostly roads connecting districts upcountry. Eng Naimame is the man that all Ministers and MPs, desiring to prioritize certain roads in their upcountry areas, have to lobby for the needful to be done.
Eng Ayub Sooma: The man from Luuka district serves as the Director Operations & airports at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) having replaced Eng Kagoro. It’s a powerful/sensitive position which attracted plenty of intrigue as Kagoro exited.
Prof Florence Isabirye Muranga: Because of the fondness the President always talks about the Presidential Initiative on Banana which she has headed for the last so many years, many casual observers are tempted to imagine Prof Florence Isabirye hails from Western Uganda. The truth is she is a Musoga married to Rev Prof Muranga who used to lecture graduate students at Makerere’s Institute of Languages. Prof Florence Muranga, who many MPs consider to be big-headed, defiant and controversial because of the way she always turns up to defend her project, hails from Iganga Kigulu County to be exact.
Godfrey Kayima: The seasoned technocrat was, until Robinah Nabanja Musafiri became PM and obliterated him, serving as the Accounting Officer (Ag PS if you like) for Office of the Prime Minister. Coincidence of names had prompted many to consider him a Muganda but in actual sense, Mr. Kayima (now out on interdiction over the Kasese blankets procurement) is a Musoga from Kamuli district.
Kayima powerfully served as Accounting Officer for the OPM from the day his former boss had been Under Secretary) Christine Kintu Guwatudde was interdicted over concerns related to the procurement of relief food (of Shs53bn) the GoU intended to procure to feed vulnerable groups in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono during the first lockdown (she became collateral as two antagonistic camps deeply rooted in the deep state battled for deals with Mandela and Aponye being the respective proxies). Kayima is the man new OPM PS Keith Muhakanizi was supposed to take over from.
Apollo Kazungu: Having overcome the Hillary Onek hostilities, the man from Kamuli is back at OPM where he serves as the Commissioner in charge of refugees with a large office along Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road near Old Kampala Police from where he commands a large team of staff. They handle all the work related to refugee management on behalf of the GoU. A former Makerere Guild President, Kazungu was actually born and raised in a powerful family whereby Dr. David Kazungu, the powerful Kingmaker from Kamuli, was his biological father.
Gerald Menhya: The former Bugabula North MP hails from Kamuli district and currently serves at the OPM as Commissioner in charge of Disaster Management and Preparedness and he is luckily in very good books of his political leader Hillary Onek who stands accused of fighting to undermine his boss Robinah Nabanja. Other members of the Menhya/Onek powerful circle at the OPM include Ag Commissioner Rose Nakabugo, vote controller Cyprian Dhikusooka and Pamela Komujuni, the powerful lady who is in charge of procurement and distribution of relief food items. Some of these are considered to be key haters of new PM Nabanja having perceived her as being antagonistic to their agenda of powerfully serving the people of Uganda in disaster prone areas.
Eng Patrick Batumbya: The gracefully ageing private consultant hails from Imeri-Nkondo district in Buyende District. Having been agreed upon by both WB and the GoU as the best for the job, Eng Batumbya (in his 70s) continues to be the supervising consultant overseeing the quality-related interests of GoU and other funders in the ongoing construction of Kabaale Airport in Hoima which is nearing completion. Aimed at bolstering oil and petroleum-related activities, Kabaale airport will be Uganda’s only other international Airport after Entebbe. Before retirement, Eng Batumbya was a civil servant of high repute.
Rev Grace Lubaale: Hailing from Butansi Sub County in Kamuli district, this Kyambogo top don is well celebrated in both clerical and academia circles. He is also the chairman KYUASA which unites hundreds of academic staff members at Kyambogo which is Uganda’s 2nd most prestigious University after Makerere. Despite being small-bodied, Lubaale is very assertive the very reason some at Kyambogo long branded him “the chaotic man from Kyabazinga-land.”
Ben Mugumya: He serves as one of the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hails from Luuka. In most Ministries, Under Secretary is charged with Administrative, HR and Financial functions. Yet Mugumya isn’t the only Musoga serving in the Kampala-based Ministries at that level. Others are Aggrey Wuunyi who powerfully serves as Under Secretary in charge of Uganda Police Force under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The man from Luuka is officed at Police Headquarters Naguru and the position he holds previously was powerfully occupied by Rogers Muhirwa of the Kayihura era.
There is also Benon Moses Kigenyi, the very hilarious Under Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service where he serves under PS Catherine Birakwate Musingwire. He previously served at Uganda Land Commission in the same capacity and at the Ministry of Gender earlier on. Kigenyi is real Musoga hailing from Kivubuka village in Jinja City.
Dan Mugulusi (now the disgruntled Under Secretary for ULC) is another Musoga serving at the rank of Under Secretary. Closely related is Baker Mugaino who powerfully serves at the Ministry of Lands under the function of Land Registration. Mugulusi (which in Runyakitara would imply an old man) comes from Jinja district.
Prof Wasswa Balunywa is another Musoga powerfully serving as the Mubs founding Principal and hails from Kigulu County in Iganga district. Yet the Principal (not Kyagulanyi) isn’t the only high-ranking academician from Busoga. Others include Prof David Justine Bakibinga (former DVC Makerere University and a leading scholar at the Makerere Law School where he teaches taxation & the law). The other eminent scholar from Busoga is the Supreme Court’s Prof Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza (name means the one who gets hated for being truthful) who was DVC Makerere University and leading scholar at Law School immediately before joining the bench. Renowned for her exotic accent, Prof Tibatemwa hails from Iganga which is one of the original JIK districts of Busoga.
Court of Appeal Judge Fredrick Egonda Ntende (from Makooka village) is another illustrious son of Busoga serving mightily at the national level. Anybody who comprehensively went through the law school will tell you not many beat Egonda Ntende when it comes to writing well-reasoned judgments. He hails from Kamuli, another of the original three JIK districts making up the original Busoga and also chairs the Uganda Law Council which sanctions errant lawyers. The other is Justice Faith Mwondha, the controversial Supreme Court Justice (former IGG too) and her cradle is Jinja district. Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza (IMK), the former IGG and currently a Justice of the Court of Appeal, is another eminent Musoga serving nationally.
Justices David Batema Kagona Ndikabona Akiiki and Duncan Gaswaga are the other eminent Basogas prominently serving on the bench. They respectively hail from Kigulu County in Iganga district and Musita-Bulanga in Mayuge district. Still within the legal circles, Peter Mukiidi Walubiri (from Namwendwa in Kamuli) is another big-name Musoga that can be referenced upon besides others like George Nathan Bamugemereire (former Deputy IGG from Namutumba), former Minister Asuman Kiyingi (currently member of the Leadership Code Tribunal having previously served as Minister at Lands, Foreign Affairs & Works from Kamuli’s Namusambya I village), high-flying MP Abdul Katuntu (Bugweri), flamboyant lawyer Julius Galisonga Kibandi and David Balondemu (who powerfully serves as the Chairman for Kampala District Land Board having replaced Yusuf Nsibambi).
Prof Mukadaasi Buyinza, who powerfully serves as the Director Makerere’s Directorate of Graduate Studies, is also a Musoga from Kamuli. He has previously served as Chairman NFA and also Dean Faculty of Forestry at the same Makerere University.
Eng Moses Magogo, the wealthy FUFA President, is another easily noticeable Musoga who is also equally self-made. Besides sports, Eng Magogo is also an MP representing Budiope in Buyende district and in that same capacity he is powerfully connected to Deputy Speaker Anita Among. Even Gen Salim Saleh is understood to be considering relocating to Buyende/Budiope where he will be camping for his clandestine political activities now that he is done working from Gulu.
Faruk Kirunda, who hails from Jinja district, is another son of Busoga impacting powerfully at the national level his young age notwithstanding. Though he does much more for both the country and NRM party/government, the well-connected Kirunda currently substantively serves as the Presidential Assistant in charge of Media Management and also the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary coming immediately below Linda Nabusayi. He previously served as the Administrator Office of NRM National Chairman based at Kyambogo which coordinated Gen Museveni’s reelection for 2021.
The incorruptible Kirunda, who peers in State House casually refer to as ‘Shadow Minister,’ has closely worked with Presidency Minister Milly Babalanda for many years. And just like Gen Nalweyiso, Kirunda (a media proprietor and former Busoga Kingdom Minister) sometimes does Gen Museveni’s classified assignments. He hails from Jinja district.
Milly Babirye Babalanda, a powerful cadre of the National Resistance Movement, is another Musoga doing great things at the national level. She is SDA by religion and hails from Nawantumbi village in Kamuli district. She currently serves as Minister for Presidency, which is one of the most powerful dockets in Museveni’s Uganda. She among many other things oversees the whole of State House; supervising staffers supporting the President with his day to day errands.
The graceful Babalanda, at whose instigation over Shs600m previously misappropriated was recently recovered, also politically supervises and oversees agencies like the IGG, Ethics/Integrity, Kampala Ministry, Security Ministry docket, ISO, ESO, Uganda Aids Commission and UPPC among other things. The deployment and facilitation of the RDCs across the country equally falls under her. She previously delivered hard tasks for both Gen Museveni and the NRM party as Political Assistant to the President the very capacity in which she oversaw the running of the Office of NRM national chairman at Kyambogo (2016-2021).
Parsis Namuganza is another powerful person from Busoga and besides being Minister in charge of Urban Development, she is also MP Bukono County in Namutumba district. Justine Kasule Lumumba is another powerful person from Busoga (Bugiri) notwithstanding the fact that she originally had her cradle in Busia which is land of the Samias. Having been removed from the position of being NRM Secretary General, Lumumba is now one of the Ministers at the OPM serving under Robinah Nabanja Musafiri who she used to supervise as GCW as the Kakumiro Woman MP served as treasurer for the NRM Caucus.
Esther Mbayo, formerly an employee at Makerere, is another illustrious daughter of Busoga easily recognizable at the national level. The Luuka Woman MP was until recently the Minister for Presidency. She has a residential property in the Namugongo neighborhood just like Parsis Namuganza. Even when she has recently endured some issues in her spousal relationship, Mbayo is a loyal subject of Kyabazinga.
Daudi Migereko, former Minister and MP who gave distinguished national level service for such a long time, is another illustrious son of Busoga. And the same goes for his former protégés at the Lands Ministry namely Housing Director Amb Agnes Babija Kadama Kalibbala and Commissioner Land Registration Sarah Kulata. Migereko, who hails from Jinja, currently chairs Uganda Tourism Board and remains a big player in the hotel and tourism industry with flamboyant hotel facilities in Kampala/Namanve and Jinja. He is currently a leading voice in the private sector and corporate world where he continues to mentor and inspire many.
Sheikh Dr. Boowa, one of the national leaders under the Shaban Mubajje-led UMSC, is another powerful leader from Busoga for which he also serves as the regional Khadi. Dr. Patrick Ibembe is another eminent Musoga because until recently he powerfully served as Chairman for Uganda Security Printing Company which is mandated to issue driving permits and other security documents on behalf of government (other BoD members include former Minister Jessica Eriyo).
During the days of Esther Mbayo, Ibembe also sat on the governing board for UPPC and that of Uganda Aids Commission. He is renowned for being one of the few Ugandans with a PhD in Diplomacy and International relations. He hails from Kamuli and belongs to the Bwamikyi family of royals.
Businessman Kitimbo, for marries Supreme Court Justice Esther Kisakye, is another easily recognizable Musoga in Kampala just like George, the gentleman who owns Cheap Hardware and Lubya Gardens, a luxurious recreation facility situated on Lubya hill. And remarkably, the two businessmen are not only proud of their Busoga ancestry but are also loyal to their King.
URA Board Chairman Juma Kisaame is another eminent Musoga and hails from Iganga district. A resident of Bugolobi, Kisaame for many years powerfully served as the thick-skinned MD for DFCU Bank before retiring into private work. He owns and operates Wairaka Hill-based BIVA College, an international school in Jinja district where every student pays Shs2.4m in school fees per term.
Others include Henry Dhikusooka Munaaba, who for many years has served as procurement chief at UBOS and hails from Buwudda village in Kamuli district. A businessman of great acumen, Dhikusooka owns St. Micheal Schools which are campused in both Wakiso Town Council (for the secondary school) and Entebbe-Kawuku (for the pre-S1 section). Youthful Dhikusooka, whose father was a famous primary school teacher, also owns a nursing school near Namasagali.
There is also Nabongo (renowned for being very strategic) who heads communications at UBOS and hails from Bugweri in Busoga. Paul Mugoya, formerly finance manager at UBOS, is another powerful fellow from Busoga and he co-owns Busoga One FM radio with ex-MP Paul Mwiru. In his 50s, Mugoya has a swanky residence in the Bugolobi neighborhood.
Prof Muhammad Lubega, a clan-mate to Rebecca Kadaga, is another eminent Musoga impacting nationally. Mostly renowned among philanthropy circles, Prof Lubega does work with the US Embassy and also serves as 1st Deputy Katikkiro in Busoga Kingdom. He also does mob consultancy work within the HIV-Aids movement. He has strong roots in Iganga where he owns and operates the Lubega Schools of nursing and mid-wifely.
Former VP Specioza Kazibwe Naigaga is another great child of Busoga. Hailing from Kigulu County in Iganga, Dr. Kazibwe currently serves as Senior Presidential Advisor and even when she initially didn’t warm up to the youthful Gabula’s Kyabazingaship, she remains a prominent personality from Busoga where she many years ago also served as one of the MPs from Iganga district. Having opted to deescalate hostilities towards the current Kingdom leadership, she recently turned up for Gabula’s coronation anniversary ceremony.
Prof Victoria Mwaka Sekitoleko, an icon of good governance, former MP (NRC days) & member of Museveni’s Cabinet for 9 years (1986-1995), is also from Busoga specifically hailing from Jinja which is one of the three former original JIK/Busoga districts (Jinja, Iganga and Kamuli). Commissioner Naimuli of prisons is another big-name emissary of Busoga sub region serving nationally in Kampala. He hails from Buwenge in Jinja district and has lately been heavily investing in Hotels and commercial farming in Buyende district where some fear he might stand for MP seat someday.
Prof David Kakuba Mpango, who until a few years ago was the Director General for UCAA, also hails from Busoga and specifically Bugabula South in Namisambya Village I which is equally home to former Minister Asuman Kiyingi. His biological brother George Mutyabule (hubby to ex-MP Florence Mutyabule) is the Speaker of Kyabazinga/Busoga Lukiiko.
Olive Lumonya, who hails from Mayuge and served as Director Marketing at NSSF before moving on to become CEO SOS Children’s villages and Director at CAA, is another easily noticeable Musoga especially in philanthropy and corporate circles. Her brother David Nsiyona is currently the Marketing Director for MOVIT, a leading manufacturing private firm and top tax payer to URA.
Hon Vincent Bagire (formerly the Bunya West MP in Mayuge district) is another eminent Musoga having great impact at national level. Amiable Bagire, who easily ranks among the most polished Basogas in Kampala, currently serves as the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs having been transferred a few months ago from the Ministry of ICT&NG. Eng Monica Ntege Azuba, who gracefully served as Minister for Works & Transport, is another Musoga with name recognition at the national level. Hailing from Naluwooli village in Kamuli district, Eng Monica Azuba Ntege currently serves as Senior Advisor to the President.
Other big names include outgoing UCDA Chairman Perezi Bukumunhe who one time served as Deputy Governor BoU. He is a personal friend of Emmanuel Mutebile who occasionally visits his home in Bugweri. Dr. Ephraim Batambuze, one of the proprietors of Nakasero Hospital, is another power broker from Busoga. The Senior Consultant from Budondo Kivubuka Village famously treated Bishop Bamwoze and it was upon his advice that the departed cleric was referred abroad for better management at the instigation of the President who funded everything.
Sergeant at Arms for Parliament, Ahmed Kagoye, is another big-name Musoga playing easily recognizable role in Kampala at the national level. The deliberately very elusive veteran policeman hails from Kivubuka Village in Jinja district.
The NPA Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, naturally can’t miss on this list because he is many things for Busoga, the Finance Ministry, the GoU, door community and Busoga for which he serves as Katukiro. In Kampala, Muvawala serves as Board member for UNRA and sits on that of the Petroleum Fund which is mandated to oversee the management of all proceeds the country will be getting from its oil sales. A leading economist and thinker for the GoU, Muvawala also chairs the Board for the Directorate of Industrial Training which falls under the Education Ministry where he previously worked.
Gen Museveni had some time back decreed that Dr. Muvawala becomes a Permanent Secretary only to be circumvented by Mzee John Mitala (then head public service) who advised the country badly needed Dr. Muvawala to steer the rolling out of NDP III which NPA economists authored under his supervision and guidance. Muvawala, who hails from Kivubuka Village in Budondo Jinja City, is a go-to-person for the President and other government officials regarding many things. Donors equally solicit his views and perspective on many things by virtue of the state’s Chief Planner position he occupies in this country. Muvawala, who resents perceiving people or forming opinion about them basing on where they come from, has also previously lectured at Makerere besides working for African Development Bank (AfDB).
Gen George Igumba: The highest ranking Musoga in the Ugandan military and security circles currently serves as the Chief of Personnel & Administration in UPDF and hails from Kigulu County in Iganga district. He is a member of the royal ruling family for the Kigulu area. His rank notwithstanding, Gen Igumba remains humble and down to earth. He is never pompous and drives around in a Kruger with a personalized number plate-MIREL. There is also Fred Bwino Kyakulaga who formerly served in ISO and currently is the State Minister for Agriculture besides being MP for Kigulu North.
KCCA ED Dorothy Kisaka, whose story we profiled sometime back (https://mulengeranews.com/new-kcca-team-the-dorothy-kisaka-story-you-wont-find-anywhere-in-her-cv/), is another eminent Musoga having visible national level impact on this country. The well-groomed corporate leader is professionally a lawyer and hails from Luuka district where ex-Minister Esther Mbayo hails from too and remains the area Woman MP. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org).