Special Reports

Mbabazi: How I met Jacqueline, Museveni


Mbabazi and Jacqueline at an event

Go Forward candidate, Amama Mbabazi, has chronicled the events of his early life including how he met his wife, Jacqueline Mbabazi.

“I was born on January 16, 1949. I celebrated my 67th birthday recently,” he was speaking to Capital FM radio over the weekend.

“When I was born, my parents had retired from active service. I was dragged to school. I was not sure it was safe to be in school.”

Mbabazi went to Kigezi College Butobere for his high school education, and Ntare School for his A-Levels.

Mbabazi earned a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University.

“I didn’t last long in school. I resolved that I would fight for justice at that age. I really did not live an easy life,” he told the radio.

“In 1958, my father had a land dispute and he lost the case even when he had a good case because the other party had a lawyer.”

It is not clear whether this inspired the young Amama to become a lawyer himself.

Mbabazi said he was 13 years when he wore his first shoe.

“I wore a shoe for the first time in P.5. It was for my mother,” he said, adding that he also helped a woman to deliver when he was about 8 years.

“My dad had come back from Buganda with shoes for his wife,” he narrates, adding, “I was in secondary school when my feet first owned their pair of shoes.”

“From my knowledge of helping goats to deliver, I helped a woman deliver.”

On his birth, Amama said he was “delivered in a health centre” and “I came with my legs first”.

“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t delivered in the health centre.”

Mbabazi says in life, one has to set some guidelines.

In school, he was a pure scientist but failed physics on purpose in order to go do law.

“My teachers always said I was older than my look. I read all books in Kabale library though I am not that a reader today.”

Mbabazi says he was born in a political family and got to learn about the liberation struggle from his family.

“Our house was good but we had no door to it. I never heard about any theft.”

Meeting Jacqueline

In 1969, a group of Kigezi College Butobere students went to Bweranyangi on a drama trip.

“I was the lead actor when I met her…when I met Jacqueline.”

Mbabazi noticed “one girl” in the crowd and asked for her name.

Susan, she said, but preferred to use the name Jacqueline.

The two would later start writing to each other; later date to time of marriage on January 4th, 1974.

Fighting Amin

Mbabazi said he was then determined to fight Idi Amin.

“I was engaging in risky activities while at Makerere University [after 1972].”

Mbabazi said most of those they recruited to fight Amin died.

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, now Prime Minister, was their leader.

“We knew I had a file in the State Research Bureau [SRB].”

Meeting Museveni

“I met Kaguta Museveni in Uhuru Park Nairobi under a tree.”

Mbabazi says ever since, he has gathered a lot of knowledge and experience.

“This election is either we change or we remain the same.”

He played an instrumental role in Uganda’s protracted liberation struggle from several tyrannical governments (1972-1986) and is a founding member of the National Resistance Movement, the ruling political party in Uganda.

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