Today March 8, Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the international women’s day. This day started way back in 1911 in European countries of Sweden, Germany and later in USSR before it was formally taken up by the United Nations. On such a day, individual countries reflect on their actions towards women emancipation and achieving gender balance.
For Uganda’s case, the theme of the year has been ‘Digital Innovation and technology for gender equality’.
According to prime minister Robinah Nabbanja, this day should be used by all women to embrace innovative technology in promoting gender equality and meeting the health developmental needs of women and girls.
As for the NRM ONC head Hajat Uzeiye Namyalo Hadijah, this day reminds all women in leadership positions of their responsibility to advocate for reproductive health issues affecting women. With many leaders making their messages about this day, it’s worthy noting that whereas many women have served, there are those who are worthy celebrating. In this expose, this News site brings you the top 15 women of substance Uganda has.
Here we go!
Hajat Uzeiye Namyalo Hadijah
She’s the head of NRM Office of the National Chairman-Kyambogo. She’s also the National Cordinator of the Bazzukulu movement. Recently, Gen. Museveni renewed her contract as a Senior Presidential Advisor/political affairs an indication that she’s a valuable asset of the female gender.
Uzeiye is currently leading the crusade against thugs in government who are not only sabotaging Museveni but also failing service delivery to the people who badly need them. She’s youthful and gets on well with those who are results oriented. As we mark this year’s Women’s Day, several women are looking up to her as an agent of hope and transformation.
Eng. Ziria Waako Tibalwa
She’s the lady at the whelm of Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) where she serves as Chief Executive Officer since 2018.
Her stay in that position has made Uganda scoop continental trophies in the area of robust electricity regulatory regime. To this end, for five years running, ERA has been voted by African Development Bank as the best regulator on the continent under it’s survey dubbed Electricity Regulatory Index. She continues to shine with new initiatives aimed at making the Electricity Supply Industry more effective and consumer friendly.
Jjajja Namirembe is no doubt the oldest female creature in NRM government. However, one outstanding issue about her is the fact that she’s still knowledgeable on education matters of the country. In fact, it would be unfair to say that most current women leaders in the country right from vice president, prime minister among others never went through Bitamazire’s hands in one way or another. Either through the literature they read or the curriculum they studied. Namirembe is Uganda’s moving education encyclopedia having served there since the days of Field Martial Idi Amin. Approaching almost a century in life, Jjajja Bitamazire is still in service as a chancellor at UMI.
She’s Uganda’s celebrated top ranked female military officer at a rank of Lt. General. Nalweyiso, a bush war compatriot, is also one of the top aides of CiC Museveni. She’s calm and always attends to issues in a straight way according to those who know her. She’s currently handling the vetting list for ambassadors now that some embassies are empty and others are filled with what was termed as kawukuumi (beanweevils).
If no one didn’t know the moneybags of State House and why Gen. Museveni is able to perform his duties ably, then just know there’s a strong lady behind him. She’s called Jane Barekye who’s the state house comptroller. She’s efficient, loving and results oriented. We’re told gone are days when Museveni would be confronted with ugly questions of unfulfilled pledges! Barekye ensures that wherever the president makes a pledge, this is followed up and must be handled by the relevant dockets in order to save the image of the president. She also ensures the president and his team is readily facilitated to deliver as per constitutional dictates!
Barbara Nekesa Oundo
She’s the NRM secretariat moneybags. A former state minister for Karamoja affairs, Oundo must be commended for having left a clean record while in that docket alongside Mama Janet Kataha Museveni. Whereas the duo set a clean record that eventually won her trust by NRM boss Museveni to entrust her with the NRM treasury, their successors Mary Goreti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu have done the opposite. Oundo is also former woman MP for Busia and continues to shine in leadership just like her baby face!
She’s the wife to opposition giant Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine. Many ladies especially youths view her as their role model despite her tender age. She’s the lady who turned a supposed ‘spoilt brat’ Bobi into a responsible man capable of aspiring for national leadership. Those with failing marriages we’re told are also frequent in her inbox seeking for advice on how to balance work and family.
One can’t talk of Museveni’s battle against thugs in government without mentioning Col. Edith Nakalema. She’s the lady who started the state house Anti-Graft Unit and arrested many thugs during her reign. The current regime in this Unit therefore, only improved on her work method by targeting big fish, the reason so many ministers who stole iron sheets are now breathing like frogs in a dry land. Nakalema is said to be uncompromising when it comes to corruption.
The Nnaabagereka of Buganda is currently leading a campaign to preserve morals among Baganda children. Not only Baganda children have benefited from her Kisakaate (Royal enclosure) program, but also many other kids from different parts of Uganda have taken part. She also remains strong and steadfast in safeguarding the pride of the Royal family even when the Kabaka is facing some health challenges.
Janet Kataha Museveni
The first lady is also the minister for education and sports. She has made several reforms in this sector for the time she has spent here. Like Nagginda, Mama Janet has tried to safeguard the face of the first family not only as a wife but also as a mother, teacher, grandmother and governmnent officer.
She’s she vice president of Uganda. The lady from Katakwi continues to make Uganda shine at the international scene by ably representing her boss Gen Yoweri Museveni. She’s also chairing cabinet meetings whenever Museveni is away. She has also ably mobilized the religious institutions and the public at large to get economic empowerment by embracing the Parish Development Model program.
The first female prime minister, her current troubles over Karamoja Iron sheets notwithstanding, has remained one of the celebrated female politicians Uganda has. She’s down to earth and fights for ‘Omuntu wa wansi’. She’s a mobiliser ready to call a spade as spade not a big spoon. Although her name has been tainted by the ugly iron sheets scandal, Nabbanja according to several women is a role model to them given her approach to issues and service.
Rebecca Amuge Otengo
Uganda is currently shining at African continental level not because of magic, but because of this lady. She’s our ambassador to Addis Ababa-Ethiopia and also Uganda’s Permanent Representative to AU, UNECA and IGAD. We’re told during her stay there, she has managed to mitigate many crises involving some officials in Ugandan leadership which would otherwise have led to diplomatic standoffs. In addition, Amuge gets on well with other ambassadors the reason Uganda has been able to scoop different favors under the AU arrangement. It’s because of her network that has seen Gen. Museveni even scoop a title of AU Champion for Integration. As a country, Uganda sits on various sensitive committees of AU including the Peace and Security Council. The whole of January, it was Uganda under Otengo that ably chaired this PSC after Senegal chickened out! Such accolades are attributed to Otengo’s vast network and versatility.
Some parents now refer to her as ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ Mummy! Anita is the speaker of parliament and also woman MP for Bukedea. She has proved to be a crusader for Integrity and transparency in leadership. This is why every minister who commits an offence, finds herself on the firing line. She has kept leaders on tenterhooks something which has brought sanity among the political class and hence won her support from among fellow women. Just this week, she publicly declared her wealth and ordered the rest of the leaders to follow suit or else, she will join the crusade to bring them to book. On the moral point of view, several women now look up to her as their chief guard against immorality especially after she boldly came out to oppose homosexuality agenda against Ugandans especially children. Last week when she said a bill against Homos was going to be determined on through open voting by MPs, several parents commended her and now view her as a moralist caring about their children.
The former woman MP for Namutumba is currently the Senior Presidential Advisor on poverty alleviation in Busoga. She’s the one who tells the president the best practices that can be done to tame the poverty question in Busoga. This song of poverty in Busoga continues to ring a bell in her head that she has not only sought solutions internally but also abroad. We can confirm she was recently in UAE to shop for solutions. She managed to land on a powerful investor identified as Prof. Elitigan based in UAE who is now desirous of investing in Busoga. He’s a dairy farmer and now wants to set up a state of the art dairy factory in the sub-region. We’re told he wants 500 acres of land in Busoga to set up this factory with an aim of buying all raw materials used for making quality animal feeds among others.
Such efforts by a woman like Mutyabule are worthy celebrating on such a day! Other women worthy noting include Rose Namayanja, Rebecca Kadaga and Dr. Mariam Nakimuli who ably runs the Office of the National Chairman as Administrator!