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Uganda’s 2nd Deputy PM Kirunda Kivejinja passes on at 85

Kirunda Kivejinja

As we wind up what seems to have been like the most challenging year yet, 2020 is still taking stock and may not be willing to close down lightly.

In the evening of December 19th, 2020, Uganda’s Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of East African Affairs passed on at the Mulago National Referral Hospital.

While addressing a political rally in Hoima, Saturday, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hinted that Kivejinja had died from Covid-19, affirming what the deceased’s son had told the media

“It’s true he is dead. He passed away at Mulago National referral Hospital,” 

Faruk Kirunda, Kirunda Kivejinja’sson

Minister Kirunda had tested for COVID-19 although ha had underlying diseases like diabetes.

His relatives said he was rushed to hospital when his health conditions deteriorated due to malaria.

“It’s true he’s passed away at Mulago hospital and that is where his body is still lying as I speak now. Since he’s a politician and big public figure, we as the family are waiting on government as we can’t guarantee that the body will be in our hands,”

Mr Ismail Nunguli, Kirunda’s family member

He added that for that reason, much as he will be buried in Buwabe Village, Ibulanku Sub-county in Bugweri district, no date has been set for his burial.

“We have learnt with deep sadness the passing of our elder, friend and comrade, 2nd Deputy PM Alhajji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja. His passing is a huge loss to the country, of a great Pan Africanist & repository of our history and journey of social, political and Economic transformation,” the premier eulogised. 

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda

Before being appointed as Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs in June 2016, Kivejinja previously served as the Minister for Relief and Social Rehabilitation, Internal Affairs and as Deputy Prime Minister.

Kivejinja studied at the Kibuli Junior School and Busoga College Mwiri and then took a pre-university course at Madras Christian College before obtaining a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Zoology at Delhi University on a Government of India scholarship.

While in India he was treasurer of the African Students Association which had among its members Bingu wa Mutharika, John Malecela and John Mataure.

Kivejinja returned to Uganda in 1962. During the 1960s he served a political mobilizer for the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), the ruling political party at that time. Since the overthrow of the second Milton Obote regime in 1986, Kivejinja served in several positions in the government led by President Museveni.

In 1986, he was appointed Minister of Relief and Social Rehabilitation. He has since served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Third Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda. Since August 2012 he had been Senior Presidential Advisor for Internal Affairs to President Museveni.

On  June 6, 2016, he was named as the new Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs in the new Cabinet announced that day.

May his soul Rest in Peace

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Arnold Nkalubo
Arnold Nkalubo is a writer and editor with an exceptional interest in issues that influence passion and lifestyle.