Which women made news in 2022?

What you need to know:

The year 2022 was a roller-coaster, full of talking points from women from various angles. The talkability revolved around power struggles, relationships, clash of ego, achievements, controversies, among other things, that made news all year long. In no particular order, we bring you some of the women that made news.

Annet Anita Among - Speaker of Parliament

She is the Speaker of the 11th Parliament, a position she ascended onto after her predecessor, Jacob Oulanya, passed on in March 2022.

To win the Speakership race, undoubtedly her biggest highlight of the year, Among, also Bukedea Woman legislator, polled 401 votes, beating her counterpart, Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, who garnered a paltry 61 votes.

On several occasions during plenary in the August house, she was faced met resistance from some legislators.

Notable among these is the Nyege-Nyege Festival saga, where some members made an emotional plea, asking her to stop the festival, reasoning that it promoted moral decadence.

Although some members insisted Nyege Nyege was a tourism and money-making event, Among asserted her powers and insisted that it would not take place.  The Nyege Nyege matter later shifted into a direct alteration between the Speaker and the Prime Minister - a case of Legislature versus Executive. Long story short, Nyege Nyege happened.

Away from Nyege Nyege, she has trended since the year began.

Her marriage with the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) boss, Moses Magogo came as a shock to many and turned into a comedy skit when news circulated that their marriage had been canceled by then Town Clerk of Makindye Division, Geoffrey Rwakabale.

On the same note, Lands Minister, Persis Namuganza recently raised concern over the same marriage terming it fraudulent.

Her luxurious lifestyle put her on spot. An expensive Range Rover with a customised number plate left Ugandans in rage. Before Ugandans came to terms with this, another car, a Mercedes Benz worth more than Shs2 billion was flaunted, which caused an uproar on Twitter as people wondered whether leaders ever care about the  pressing needs of the citiznery.

Before Ugandans thought she was done with the showbiz, she gifted her new husband Moses Magogo a new Range Rover on his birthday .It was still not over when Persis Namuganza, the state minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, accused her of “procuring a fraudulent marriage” with her husband. The same marriage had earlier been cancelled by then Town Clerk of Makindye Division, Geoffrey Rwakabale.

Jennifer Bamuturaki

Bamuturaki has been at the centre of controversy for the better part of 2022. 

First off, she was confirmed by the Works and Transport minister, Gen Katumba Wamala as the cheif executive offiicer of Uganda Airlines. Her appointment came barely a fortnight after the Ministry had hired a consultant- PricewaterhouseCoopers, to lead the search process to fill the CEO position.

Her appointment by the President, on the day she was meant to apply for the job, raised a lot of questions in the public domain, considering that the consultancy firm was earlier paid Shs98 million to undertake the recruitment process of a chief executive officer.

She later had an uphill task of convincing legislators that she is the suitable candidate for the Airlines top job after she was tasked to present her curriculum vitae.

Bamuturaki had discrepancies surrounding her name and inconsistencies in her academic documents, issues that gave her a hard time explaining under oath before the Com­mit­tee on Com­mis­sions, Statu­tory Au­thor­i­ties and State En­ter­prises (COSASE) in Parliament.

Bamuturaki lurched from one crisis to another all year long not until recently, when she had the last laugh, after being elected President of African Airlines Association.

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga

Why does Sheebah’s “go down low” come to my mind when her name comes into the picture? Well, it is the paka chini dance Kadaga showcased during last year’s Nyege Nyege festival. Days before the dance moves, she had gone bear-fist at her predecessor Anita Among, for using her power in the August House in an attempt to stop the festival over issues of immorality. Had they been these women in butale bwamubuulo (local village markets), the two would have pounded each other’s chests.

Despite the Parliament’s resolution against the event, Kadaga, who also doubles as the first deputy prime minister of Uganda and the Minister for East African Community Affairs, visited Itanda Falls, the Nyege Nyege festival grounds and applauded its organisers for the idea which supports the ordinary people of her region to make some money. 

The festival also attracted thousands of foreign tourists, thus promoting tourism.

The gesture cemented her political might in the region and made Kadaga a darling to all party lovers, who found a freedom fighter in her.

Halima Nakaayi

As soon as the year 2022 stretched its feet, Ugandan athlete Halima Nakaayi, raised the country’s flag high in Germany in the World Athletic Indoor Tour.

She later made headlines, when she kept her feet strong in CommonWealth Games in Birmingham, World Indoor Championships in Oregon, USA, and later won Uganda’s first-ever bronze medal in the World Indoor Championship in Belgrade, Serbia.

Sheebah Karungi

She kicked off the year with a controversial split from Jeff Kiwanuka, the boss of Team No Sleep (TNS), a manager, who literally made her who she is. Her move came with a lot of criticism from a section of the public, who claimed that her music career largely depended on Kiwanuka and with their separation, she was bound to fail. 

Karungi, however, challenged that narrative and went hard on her music, releasing more hits such as Kansalewo, Muwoomya, Mukama Yamba, Nkwata Bulungi and Nabaleka among others. She further silenced her critics, when she held a successful two- day concert at Kampala Serena Hotel.  To many artistes, filling up a venue in just one night is a huge task.  But she did it in two consecutive days, a record that will live long before anyone breaks it.

Shamim Malende

She has been a strong pillar to the National Unity Platform (NUP) since the year began. Her days have been characterised by court sessions, fighting for the freedom of various NUP supporters. Even when it seemed impossible to secure bail for Kawempe North legislator Muhammad Ssegirinya and Makindye West legislator Allan Ssewanyana, she still stood strong.

Robinah Nabbanja

The Prime Minister kickstarted the year with a viral video of her leaning against her chair. She nearly fell. The video portrayed a jolly and fun side of the Minister, when she ran out of words during an interview with a journalist.

She was later involved in a few power struggles with Speaker Among over the Nyege-Nyege Festival and another with the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo. 

Her rift with Dollo started when Nabbanja stormed into the Mengo Magistrate Court and grilled Amon Magezi, a grade one Magistrate for having ordered imprisonment for a widow of seven children in a land dispute. She ordered for her release.

In response to her action, she received fire from Owiny-Dollo, warning her against poking her nose in court matters. The two, however, burried the hachet. She was then named in the top 100 most influential women in Africa by Avance Media in Accra Ghana. 

Her other public appearances in social events such as the MTN marathon and Eddy Kenzo Festival also gained her talkability after relating with the citizens in the same audiences.

Sarah Opendi

Tororo District Woman MP secured leave of Parliament to introduce the clcohol control bill in November last year. The private members bill seeks to repeal the current legislation including the Liquor act, the portable spirit and the Enguli Act, all enacted in the 1990’s.  Opendi says these laws become absolete and do not address the challenges alcohol consumption brings to the modern world.

The highly controversial bill received a backlash from members of the August House and those in the public, but Opendi insisted that the bill will comprehensively address the regulation of the manufacture and importation, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Prior to this bill, Opendi made news when she asked the Education ministry to ban artistes’ performances in schools. She was concerned with the way artistes dress, dance and present themselves before the children, which she says does not portray the moral values of our society.

Juliana Kanyomozi

After nine years, the songbird staged a concert again at the Kampala Serena Hotel in August last year.  She sings at her pace, bakes in darkness and puts to light what no one has made. This year, she came again stronger than before and filled up the venue.

Staging a succesfull concert with no new musical projects is no mean feat for those in the entertainment sector.  She thrilled her fans when she brought back SweetKid. She was first put on the spot for cancelling a show that had been organised by Jazz Safari proprietor, Tshaka Mayanja.

For the first time, she came out to explain her actions. Having her concert on the same dates earlier booked by the B2C further put her in the news. This saw pundits making judgement of both concerts and who did it better. 

She Cranes

Although the She Cranes have been competing in the Africa Netball Championships, it took the club 36 years to return to the World Cup. With their current sixth position in the world, the She Cranes automatically qualified for the Netball World Cup due in July this year in South Africa.  For the She Cranes, this was a record made after the coveted wins that saw them finish in the fifth position among the six participants in the competition, after winning a fixture against world’s number one Australia and Jamaica at the Netball Fast five Series. No doubt, they are destined for greatness as they look forward to representing the country in upcoming netball championships.

Persis Namuganza

The Bukono County legislator and State Minister for Housing was in hot soup for the larger part of the year. It all started when Parliament constituted a nine-member ad hoc committee to investigate the Nakawa - Naguru land allocation, in which complaints of corruption were cited. The committee found that, being the Minister of state for Lands in charge of Housing at the time, she ordered the dubious give away of public land.  Namuganza would later question the powers and integrity of this committee. A section of MPs accused her of going to the press and social media to undermine Parliament, which led to inquiries into allegations of her misconduct and derogatory remarks. Following this saga, a motion was passed by Parliament to see Namuganza censured, a process still underway. Namuganza is also said to have a personal vendetta with Speaker Anita Among. She had earlier promised to move a motion against Among and Moses Magogo, whom she accused of procuring a fraudulent marriage.

Angella Summer Namubiru

She is a model, content creator, actress, musician and human rights advocate. But most importantly, she is the most followed Ugandan on the popular video sharing social platform - TikTok. She won the 2022 E People’s Choice African Social Star Award. In a highly competitive category, she beat Big Brother Naija winner and alumni, Liquorose Afije.