Ronah Rita Ninsiima, the Kabale District Woman Member of Parliament tells us she will return to defend the seat she picked from former Agriculture minister, Hope Mwesigye, in 2011 elections.
Born on 31/3/1978 at Mulago Hospital, Ninsiima Rhonah Rita is a daughter to Mr & Mrs. Geofrey and Margaret Beshubeho.
The father was a surveyor and the mum a store keeper at UCC, Kabale.
She was lucky to attend nursery in Luzira owned by a lady called Nalongo.
Ninsiima later joined Kiswa Primary school in Lugoogo for her Primary education until 1991.
In 1992, she Joined Kigezi High school for O’level until 1996.
After O-Level, her mum who was funding her education could not push her on any longer due to financial challenges.
“Dad has a lot of Children and thus could not afford to pay fees for us all. My education was entirely funded by my mother but after O-level as you know store keepers earn little. She couldn’t push on,” Ninsiima recalls.
Her uncle, the late Abel Twinobusingye, former Principal Kabale UCC, advised her to join an institution so as to acquire the minimum qualifications.
Ninsiima joined International Professions Academy (IPA) for a diploma in Accounting in 1997.
After that, she started working as a trainer of trainees in business skills with the Private sector Foundation centre, an organization that had started operating in Kabale in 1999.
Joining Voice of Kigezi radio
Three months down the road, Voice of Kigezi opened and her media career was set ablaze.
“We had gone for an outreach in one of the areas and on our return, I was told that officials from VOK had come to our office looking for me,” Ninsiima narrates.
She rushed to VOK offices and was received by the then station manager, the late Rutamirika who told her that VOK needed a radio presenter.
“My dramatic experience, good English speaking ability and great public speaking potential forced VOK officials to spot me for a radio job.”
Due to her media inexperience, Ninsiima thought she could not afford to work on radio but Rutamirika assured her of full training that would enable her to become a great radio personality.
At home, her decision to join the media was not well received since it involved a lot of commitment as some programs required her to leave late at night and wake up so early in the morning.
She later started renting near the radio in Kigongi for security purposes.
Ninsiima later became a great radio presenter and English news anchor in Kigezi region from 2000-2005.
Thanks to Collins Vumiriya, the news editor, for the efficient training accorded to her.
She later developed an interest in politics but felt that she needed more academic training to convince the electorate to support her.
The politically interested Ninsiima joined Mbarara Adult Education Centre in 2006 for A-level.
During that time, she was working with Radio West as an English news anchor.
In 2007, she sat for UACE and was lucky to get 11 points.
Saving was part of her life as Ninsiima needed enough money to join Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) where she started pursuing a Development studies degree in 2009.
Due to the political pressure that kept on growing in Kabale district, her political ambitions kept on developing rapidly.
“I could hear a lot of negative reports amongst Kabale politicians with some of them accusing each other of poor administration. This made me feel like joining the political boat to rescue my people from this mistreatment.”
She started sending SMS messages to friends seeking their views on her interest to represent Kabale women in parliament.
Most of them ignored the messages thinking that she was joking.
“It took me a lot of time to convince my friends that I was serious with my political interest. Some thought I was fooling them but I told them how serious I was towards my goal.”
In 2010, she asked for a dead year at university to enable her strategize for her political journey.
Ninsiima further requested for a job leave at Radio West with effect from July 1st, 2010 for the same cause.
Her academic journey resumed in 2011 after elections.
She joined Makerere University and under a transfer of course requirements with Mbarara University. She graduated in January 2015.
Politically, Ninsiima dates her leadership as a Guild speaker at the International Professions Academy. Her next political appointment was realized when she became a Woman MP.
Inspired by Wandera Kazibwe
“I had a great desire to lead people due to the fact that a lot of people have challenges that result from poor leadership. The former Vice President Specioza Wandera Kazibwe greatly inspired my political interest.”
In 2011, Ninsiima won the Kabale woman parliamentary seat defeating Hope Mwesigye.
Prior to this victory, she contested in the NRM primaries but due to what she calls an unfair electoral process, she was defeated.
Most people viewed these elections as unfair and thus asked her to stand as an independent candidate.
Why she is returning for a second term
Ninsiima says the 5 years in parliament have not been a small experience but rather a great life lesson. With Uganda’s multi-party system of governance, independent MPs find it hard to fit in the decisions of most members in the house since most MPs support their party resolutions.
Her main agenda in parliament was to reduce maternal mortality.
She has struggled to see this come to pass since 6/7 of all Health centre IV’s in Kabale district have fully qualified midwives.
Due to her efforts, the Japanese government is constructing a state of the art maternity ward at Kabale regional referral hospital to help in reducing congestion at the ward.
Despite her love for NRM, in 2016, Ninsiima will return to defend her seat as an independent candidate since the law requires her to do that.