Mbabazi was compared to potatoes as a boy


Amama and his villagemates in 1966 at Butobere


Well, among the few personal accounts you will encounter is one of former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who was not supposed to amount to anything but emerged a star and touched the skies.

“I have always believed in surmounting obstacles,” Mbabazi wrote, recalling the long almost forgotten past.

“My father bought me my first pair of shoes when I was admitted to the prestigious Kigezi College Butobere, Kabale in 1966,” the former NRM Secretary General opened up on social media, taking his supporters back to the mid-90s.

At the age of seventeen, he had recently graduated from Kigezi High School Junior (J1-J2) another refined institution where favour was reserved for pupils of ecclesiastical background.

Conversely, the children whose families came from or lived in, the villages of Ruhita and Bugongi, were often treated with suspicion and scorn.

“This was entirely because the locals had refused to give up indigenous practices such as brewing their own alcohol,” he narrates.

He said once his head teacher weighed him against potatoes and concluded that potatoes were the only good thing that ever came from his village.

““Nothing good has ever come out of Ruhita except sweet potatoes!” the headmaster Mr Buregyeya had once exclaimed while punishing my six Ruhita friends and I.”

He says that to his headmaster’s surprise, out of the 60 students who undertook the Junior 2 exam, only 10 advanced to Butobere and of those were the seven Ruhita boys, “myself inclusive”.

Born in Mparo Village, Rukiga County, in present-day Kabale District, on 16 January 1949, Mbabazi went ahead to attain a law degree, Bachelor of Laws (LLB), from Makerere University, in 1975.

He also got a postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice obtained from the Law Development Center, Kampala, obtained in 1976.

He has been an Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of Uganda and a member of the Uganda Law Society since 1977.

The same boy who was less valuable than potatoes, worked as State Attorney in the Attorney General’s Chambers, rising to the position of Secretary of the Uganda Law Council.

He is famed for his role in funding the NRA struggle that ended the reign of the past regimes and ushered in a new era.

Between 1986 and 1991 he served as Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO), being the first person to serve in that position.

In 1994, he served as a delegate to the Constituent Assembly that drew up the 1995 Ugandan Constitution.

He became the Chairman of the National Resistance Movement Delegates Caucus.

He has also served as Minister of State in the President’s office, in-charge of Political Affairs.

Between 1986 and 1992 he was Minister of State for Defence.

Subsequently, he served as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation.

In 2004, he was appointed as Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

He held that portfolio until he was appointed Minister of Defence in 2006, a position he held until he was appointed Security Minister.

He served as Security Minister from February 2009 until May 2011, when he was appointed Prime Minister.

He was the tenth Prime Minister in Uganda’s history.

Ruhakana Rugunda was appointed to replace Mbabazi on 18 September 2014.

Currently, Ugandans are waiting for him to announce his 2016 presidential bid as some think he is a possible alternative to President Yoweri Museveni who has ruled since 1986.

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