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City lawyer and University law don Sam Mayanja is back tormenting Buganda kingdom through a highly toxic book Media World Productions published for him earlier this week. It carries content highly critical of Mengo which is one of the many subjects he tackles. But who is this Sam Mayanja by way of profiling?


The Finance & Banking Law practitioner was born 61 years ago in Kiyinda Mityana in a prominent family. His paternal uncle Owek Antonio Gitta was AG for Sir Edward Mutesa and was in the hot seat during the 1955 Kabaka crisis before negotiating Mutesa return from the first exile by Cohen. His own father Erinesti Birebwe Mayanja was the first native Ugandan to serve as Chief agricultural officer for greater Mubende district. Sam’s parents had migrated from Koome islands in Lake Victoria Kyaggwe Mukono district to settle in Mityana.

At 13 years, Mayanja became a street preacher in the Bwaise ghettoes reflecting the strong Christian values under which he was bred as a child. Background to all this was that his parents Magdalene Nandawula and Erinesti Birebwe) were among the pioneer members of the Pentecostal Church in Mityana where his father donated land on which Full Gospel Church was established serving the whole of Mubende.

Much earlier on, Apollo Kivebulaya who is Sam’s great grandparent/patriarch had excelled at evangelizing communities mostly through street preaching. Kivebulaya, a veteran of the 1880s religious wars in Buganda, had converted from Islam to Christianity protesting brutality Muslim leaders compelled young fighters like him to commit on those they considered infidels.

As a Christian, Kivebulaya evangelized in many areas of western Uganda and Zaire DRC where the establishment of a vibrant Anglican church the way we know is today is credited on his efforts. Sam’s father was among the pioneer native businessmen in Mityana his contemporaries being the likes of Samwiri Mugwisa, Kagea Ntatwa and others with whom they operated Ottoman Bank in the 1960s. Sam studied at Lubiri SS for O’level and Kings College Budo for A’level before joining Mak Law School in 1973.

Earlier on he started out at Mityana P/S whose motto, greatly despising cowardice, has always inspired him in life. In 1976, he graduated with LLB and joined LDC for Diploma in Bar Course training where VP Sekandi was among his lecturers. Immediately after LDC, Sam enrolled for LLM which he completed and graduated in 1980. He was actually the pioneer LLM student at Makerere and was enabled by Prof Abraham Kiapi who lobbied management to introduce LLM to cover Sam after his Canadian Mcguil University scholarship was cancelled at the last minute.

While at Mak, Mayanja distinguished himself as a Christian preacher under Makerere Full Gospel some of whose elders were jailed for being worshipping after enactment of the Amin decree prohibiting Christian practice. Mayanja daringly went to State House and pleaded with Amin who released the church elders but Full Gospel remained closed. Since that time, Mayanja (who co-authored a book narrating the Amin ordeal after the 1979 war) has been a guest preacher at a number of Pentecostal Churches in the country. His own story testifies to the persecution Christians endured in the 1970s.

As a lawyer he initially practiced under his own law firm before much later on being recruited into KAA by CJ Bart Katurebe who founded it in early 2000s. Mayanja has also served in the Bible Society of Uganda and on return from exile in the 1980s, he worked as Bank Secretary for UDB. He also served as Personal Legal Assistant for deputy Finance Minister Steven Kavuma and inputted a lot into the management of departed Asians properties before the Custodian Board.

Mayanja also edited High Court bulletin under Benjamin Odoki’s close supervision. As banking lawyer, he actively influenced enactment of FIA which BoU uses to regulate banks. He also was retained as consultant for NPART which handled recovery of securities for defunct UCB. He advised BoU on a WB project regarding agricultural financing. He also served WB on the Northern Transport Corridor projects covering many countries. He also advised the UN Economic Commission for Africa on the Trans-Africa Highway project.

He has lectured law at Nkumba, UCU and LDC. Award-winning Mayanja is also a member of Uganda Institute of Corporate Governance in whose Sustainable Wealth magazine he regularly publishes articles. Mayanja is also member of Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance and ULS President Peter Kinobe says he is a very resourceful member of Uganda Law Society. As a lawyer, Sam has represented many big corporate organizations and the President’s NRM party in all major court battles since the 2000s. (For comments, call/text us on 0200900416 or email us at



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