Dr Stephen Mallinga, the Minister of Disaster Preparedness, has died. Dr Mallinga, 69, died Thursday after reportedly collapsing at his home in Pallisa District, eastern Uganda.
Mallinga, the MP for Butebo County, became Disaster Preparedness minister in 2011, replacing Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere.
Before that, he served as Health minister from 2006 to 2011.
Dr Mallinga attained a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree from Makerere University.
Between 1973 and 1977, he worked as a Consultant at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America. He was the Chairperson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jackson Park Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA from 1978 until 1985.
He later served as a consultant at Ingalls Memorial Hospital, in Harvey, Illinois, in Chicago before returning to Uganda in 1996 to join politics.
In March 2005, Dr Mallinga, who was at the time the chairman of the opposition Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) caucus in the 7th Parliament, shocked the country when he accepted a National Resistance Movement (NRM) T-shirt from President Yoweri Museveni. Mr Museveni was on a tour of eastern Uganda.
Following the controversy, Dr Mallinga denied having crossed to Mr Museveni’s NRM “because some issues have not been resolved”.
The fallen minister later said he was under pressure from his constituency to cross to NRM so that the area could be granted a district status.
The then outspoken UPC politician said he had only accepted the T-Shirt from Mr Museveni because it would be rude to snub the President, who was visiting the area.
He later crossed to the NRM “for the good of his people”.
The late Mallinga was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and the International College of Surgeons (FICS).