The public has long complained about the appearance of ministers who entered the government after being trained in foreign universities, especially in colonial times, or being born overseas, and have kept their positions in governments since independence to the current day.
Stories have spread about Henry Kyemba, a permanent secretary in Uganda, who arrived at an event early and started searching for his boss, the minister, as the ceremony was beginning in Entebbe.
And while in Uganda, he was ordered to assume his position as Minister of Defence. So Kyemba came into the ministry as a minister’s deputy, but left as the full minister.
It’s said that the former minister of agriculture, Samwiri Mugwisa, came to power through the window.
After the Obote catastrophe of 1966, Mugwisa, a loyal member of the UPC, rose to prominence with the establishment of the four districts of Mengo. West Mengo, East Mengo, Mubende, and Masaka all received additional representation.
Obote’s aim was to weaken Buganda, because of how, as Obote had stated, Buganda had previously proven to be a “nagging thorn in his flesh.”
UPC now bestowed on Mugwisa a huge role in the organization, appointing him Deputy Secretary-General in Mubende. Mugwisa had previously been part of the founding team of UPC.
Mugwisa was appointed as President by Obote in 1971, and maintained the role for a year before Obote was overthrown.
In fact, in his earlier interviews, Mugwisa asserts that Obote had left him behind, refusing to get involved or take Mugwisa’s warnings seriously.
While at a gathering in Mubende, Mugwisa heard of Amin’s coup and informed Obote, but he was denied an audience.
Minister Nathan Kalema, who found the entire ordeal funny, eventually received the message that Mugwisa wanted to give him. Kalema chuckled at Amin’s feeble attempt to lead, which he knew could never succeed.
Obote was deposed while he was in the air, and Amin was able to become Uganda’s president shortly afterwards.
The UPC group, led by Mugwisa, fled Uganda, panicking after the pro-Amin soldiers and their followers began hunting down Obote’s allies.
Mugwisa was left to reside in Nairobi in a tiny hotel room for two years, until he was given a job as Uganda Federal Union Forces coordinator for diaspora citizens by Andrew Lutakome Kayiira. The job was found through the ‘good friends’ of Mugwisa who introduced him to Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, a lawyer in Europe, who found the position for him.
Mugwisa’s opportunity to go through the window begins.
Having arrived in Tanzania, Mugwisa quickly fell in with the UPC crowd, which led to his re-acquaintance with people like Ruhakana Rugunda, Tarsis Kabwegyere, Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere, and the Obote circle. It also led to a series of visits to meet with Obote, who was busy plotting with Yoweri Museveni and other leading figures against Amin.
On Obote’s orders, Mugwisa was sent to Uganda, where he was sent to run the Masaka branch of the regime’s effort to mobilize the populace in favor of the fight against Amin. Maj Edward Rurangaranga of Ankole, who was originally chosen as Governor-General, lost the support of other senior members. This affected the next governor’s election because most people ended up voting for the newly nominated individual, because he was . (Masaka economic research).
And Mugwisa was in Uganda when the UNLF administration formed in Tanzania, despite the fact that he was completely ignored. He sent in a list with some of his members, but they were all absent.
He went to Tanzania to find him, but it wasn’t until he bumped into him in person that Lule questioned where he had suddenly appeared from. Mugwisa’s name was absent in all planning. Though he had accompanied them throughout, Lule only figured it out once Mugwisa was dead. In the closing minutes of being in charge of Kyotera’s district, Mugwisa entered through the window to replace Sam Magezi and replace himself on the list.
Later, once Kampala fell, Yusuf Lule was put in as Uganda’s president.
For the hundredth time, Mugwisa was not given an opportunity to rise in the ranks and instead was left as DC Kyotera. Mugwisa has a knack for discovering intel and says he received the knowledge of Lule’s government’s impending fall early.
Following Obote, Mugwisa headed to Nile Mansions and attempted to speak with Lule so he could deliver the news that the government was planning to collapse, but once again Samuel Ssebagereka of Finance stopped him from passing the information on to Lule until he could force him out of office.
After Binaisa’s term, Mugwisa was again slated to take the post of minister of agriculture, but the final draft of the appointments omitted his name and included Matiyansi Ngobi instead.
And, because of his options having been reduced, Mugwisa chose to run for parliament in the 1980 general elections, seeking to represent the Mubende North East Constituency as a Member of Parliament.
Because to poor voting procedures, Mugwisa was ostracized. Outraged that nothing was working, he made the trek to meet and speak with Obote at the state house.
Mugwisa had been trying to find Obote in the State House for several hours and had no luck, until Obote noticed him in the window and said, “Mugwisa, you are Agriculture Minister now.”
As a result, Mugwisa became a minister under Obote’s regime until it was toppled in 1985. After a brief period of imprisonment, he was let go. Until his death in 2014, he remained in the business.