Stephen Kabuye was Entebbe Municipality Mayor for almost two decades rising from LC I to municipality mayoral position.
Kabuye, who fought many battles to craft the face of Entebbe Municipality was presumably one of the most influential men in Entebbe politics between 1992 and 2011 having been elected unopposed on three occasions.
From meeting world leaders to becoming the face of Entebbe Municipality, Kabuye says he has less to regret and he is enjoying his retirement.
2011 marked the end of Kabuye’s long term service after losing to political rival Vincent De Paul Kayanja.
However, Kabuye who recurrently asks not to meddle into political talks, says that he has always preferred to leave a quite retirement life.
Often quoting the Bible, Kabuye likens himself to the Biblical Jacob who wrestled with God in quest for a blessing. He says that all he needs is a blessing from God to happily continue his retirement in peace.
“I will always thank God for all I went through, I am a retired happy man and enjoying life because I prepared myself for my tomorrow, I leave like Jacob and I feel I have seen God face-to-face,” Kabuye narrates.
How he planned
While a student at Entebbe Secondary School in 1972, the 63-year-old was working with the Ministry of Works in the plumbing section where his first salary was Shs360 and part of the money would be saved after paying school fees which was Shs200.
Before the plumbing job, Kabuye used to hawk groundnuts on Entebbe streets before retiring home to retail paraffin.
“My mindset was changed the day Dr Samson Kiseka visited our school and lectured us about retirement. He told us to start working, investing and saving, which I did. It is no wonder that at a time when I joined politics I was a rich man and I had a personal car (Volkswagen), personal driver and three mini buses,” Kabuye notes.
Kabuye narrates that he was advised by Dr Kiseka that self-employment is the best way to prepare for better retirement since no one can ever be employed forever, especially by government.
“Many people tend to forget that there will always be time when you are not employed that is why many people die early when they retire. Way back in the late 80’s I started a hardware (Keresi Hardware, now Peniel) at market street Kampala and I knew it would feed me when I retire,” Kabuye explains.
He notes that as part of his long term savings he invested in Agro-forestry, poultry and banana farming on small scale.
In addition Kabuye runs Peniel Beach Hotel in Entebbe together with his friends.
Kabuye on life and politics
Even though Kabuye declines discussing Uganda’s mainstream politics, his influence in politics at district level cannot go unnoticed.
He explains that his path to politics was prophetic. In 1992 when he was elected local council chairman, it was past the closure hour that had been set by the Electoral Commission.
In his own account he says that all his opponents chose to drop out and he was elected unopposed beyond 5pm.
“I had never wanted to join politics, in 1992 my neighbours had asked me to be the village chairperson and I had refused. Matters became worse that the polls had been organised on Sabbath (Saturday) and being a Seventh Day Adventist I couldn’t forego church service for polls but the people insisted and they waited until I finished church,” says Kabuye.
Kabuye was later anonymously elected mayor for then Entebbe Town Council by the council member’s Electoral College during the LC2, 3 and 4 system in 1992.
Kabuye advises that better retirement starts the day you start working. He explains that Ugandans especially the youth should think beyond their day-to-day earnings and start saving for a better future.
“From your initial investments, you need to ensure that there is a steady path of your return on investment to ensure that you will keep earning from your assets. As you age, the aim is to ensure that you protect your assets so that they still generate wealth for you,” he says.
Counting problems and success
Kabuye explains that the more he stayed in power, the more his life in politics became a throne of thorns. However, Kabuye says that before his departure people had confidence in him since he knew Entebbe more than any other leader. “I was born, studied, married and worked in Entebbe, I knew my people and I knew how to manage their problems,” Kabuye emphasizes. Kabuye boosts about developing Entebbe town by creating many open spaces with a green environment such as the Entebbe mayor’s gardens.
Stephen Kabuye Profile
A father of four (two girls and two boys) Stephen Kabuye was born in 1955 in Mulago Hospital, Kampala.
A son of late Wilson Gingo and Gladys Nabbosa of Lunnyo Entebbe Municipality Division (A), Kabuye is the first born in a family of eight.
In 1968 Kabuye attended Kiwafu Primary School in Entebbe and later joined Entebbe Secondary School and he finished high school at St Francis Secondary School in Mengo- Kampala.
Kabuye, who holds a master’s Degree in Development Studies from Bugema University, was the first director of The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) a humanitarian organisation of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 1986.