They made news in 2013
Posted Saturday, December 28 2013 at 02:00
POPULAR. They filled several Uganda news pages and air waves. They dominated TV screens and debates on social networking sites and family conversations. They are the 2013 women in the news.
Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament
From being labelled opposition sympathiser to being asked to vie for presidency, the Kamuli District woman Member of Parliament (MP) and Speaker, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, has probably been the most read-about Woman in Uganda in 2013. Though her steering of the House was lauded by many, Kadaga was faulted by some who questioned her allegiance to her own party; the ruling NRM. In defense, Kadaga said she was loyal to the NRM, but impartial to all parties in Parliament. Then her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah accused her of setting him up for controversial debates in parliament. Kadaga refuted the claims. But besides the high-tempered political climate in the House, in September, Kadaga smiled in Johannesburg, South Africa when she was elected chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians.
Idah Nantaba, State Minister for Lands
Junior Lands Minister and Kayunga Woman Member of Parliament, Idah Nantaba was quite a bold character in 2013 – confronting the individuals who bought land mainly in Kayuga and Police boss; Gen. Kale Kayihura whose force was deployed to protect land owners in the area. Nantaba said she was fighting for the poor tenants and had backing from none other than the president. Kayihura dismissed the claims, and the rift between the two government officials made the baby-faced legislator fill many news page, air waves and TV screens for the better part of the year.
Jennifer Musisi, Executive Director KCCA
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director; Jennifer Musisi, will have the year 2013 to remember. Swift and decisive in style, Musisi has probably created both friends and enemies in equal measure – friends who say that thanks to her leadership at City Hall, roads in the city are being done, garbage collection has become more effective and the streets, with fewer hawkers, have become relatively less congested. But those who fault Musisi blame Lord Mayor Lukwago’s woos on her. A born again Christian knows very well the huge task of leading the largely shambolic city. While speaking at the Makerere University Sports Grounds event organized by Born Again churches in Kampala in April, Musisi called on the faithful to pray for her. “The task before us is not small yet we are unrelenting in our efforts to improve the city. We need your prayers,” she said.
Amina Hersi Moghe, businesswoman
It does not matter whether Amina Hersi Moghe is a daughter of a migrant Somali cattle keeper she is one of the wealthiest women in Uganda. This year, Hersi put her rising real estate empire in the limelight when she opened the posh Laburnam Courts Apartments in Kampala. She is also the owner of Oasis Mall, which houses Nakumatt Supermarket.
Hersi’s first business stint in Kampala was a cement dealership, first as an agent of Bamburi Cement in Kenya and later established relations with the nascent cement factories in Uganda. For this, until recently, when her business interests in real estate became widely known, many people referred to her as a cement dealer, and she agrees. “In fact, most people know me as Hersi Omusementi,” she says.
Hersi, is believed to have built firm alliances with the biggest politicians, businesspeople and banks in Uganda and beyond in and for her business operations.
Princess Ruth Komuntale, Tooro Princess
Just like it was headline news when Princess Ruth Komuntale and Christopher Thomas got wedded in the colourful ceremony in the western Uganda town of Fort Portal last year, so it was when it became official that the couple had separated. Rumours on social network sites were already about the rift in the highly celebrated marriage so the official statement from the royal family only came to underline what was not new. What followed the announcement was the media being awash with opinions, theories and versions of what could have caused the marriage to fail. While accusations and counter accusations filled news pages, air waves and TV screens, some kind Ugandans proposed ways of rebuilding the broken marriage. So the princess’ name was kept in the news.
This was supposedly a private marital affair between the princess and hubby but the fact that their lives and actions affect those who look up to them, some of whom are, at the very least, bound by culture to pay homage to them, made everything around them of a public concern.
Flavia Namakula, golfer
200 pairs of eyes were set on the Barclay Day Open golf Tournament at the Kitante Golf Course, but only Flavia Namakula’s hands held it when she emerged the overall lady winner of the tournament. She had as well automatically booked her place in the Barclays Kenya Open slated for March 2014.
The 25-year-old Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), golfer and Uganda’s top female golfer in September claimed second place in the Tanzania Ladies Golf Open in Arusha, and attained the same ranking in October during the Uganda’s version of the tournament. The event was won by Angel Eaton from Tanzania. Earlier, during the Tombstone golf tournament in August, Flavia Namakula, scooped Ladies group A 10 yards to green number 1 to scoop one of her accolades on a very fruitful day for her on the course. She also won the Ladies nearest to the pin and longest drive. This was surely not a bad year for the lady who earlier in the year; in January was crowned Uganda Sports Press Association golf player of 2012.