BLAMED: Gen. Moses Ali
moses ali uganda
Gen Ali has represented Moyo East in Parliament for several years and Museveni has always heavily relied on him to strengthen the Movement in West Nile.
In the third part of our series detailing the men and women who have been instrumental in Museveni’s campaigns and eventual election victories in 1996 and 2001, today Eagleonline brings you the ‘king makers’ from the Busoga and Bukediregioions, writes Steven Mandu.
Karamoja
David Pulkol
David Pulkol, who is from Matheniko clan in Moroto in the Karamoja sub-region, started working for the National Resistance Movement government at a young age; he was first appointed to the position of Deputy Minister for Water and Minerals in 1987, aged 26.
In 1991, he was made the State Minister for Education, serving until 1994. Later, he became the Minister in charge of Karamoja Affairs, between 1994 and 1995.He initially stood for his Matheniko county seat in the then parliament in 1991 and was re-elected in 1996. Later, he resigned on being appointed Director General of the External Security Organisation (ESO), from 1996-1998.
After his stint at ESO, Mr Pulkol was based in Nairobi as deputy director of Unicef in charge of East and Southern Africa, from 1999 to 2000.But after his two-year stint at Unicef, he returned to Uganda, ran for parliament and lost to Samuel Abura Pirir in 2001.He bounced back at ESO for a second stint from 2001-2003.  
Although he later fell out with Museveni, he was very important in soliciting support for Museveni in Karamoja.
 
Peter Lokeris
In 1996, he joined politics, contesting and winning the parliamentary seat of Chekwii County in Nakapirit District. During that same year, he was appointed State Minister for Karamoja, a post he held till January 2005. In 2006, he was re-elected was appointed Minister of State for Primary Education, and was later moved to Minerals, a position he still holds today. Like Pulkol, his role was very significant in delivering results for Museveni in Karamoja.
Teso
Christine Hellen Amongin Aporu
Christine Hellen Amongin Aporu began her career as a primary school teacher from 1980 to 1984.Following her graduation at ITEK in 1986, she became a tutor at a teacher training college, until 1996 when she was first elected to represent Kumi District in 1996. Between 2001 and 2006, she served as a State Minister. Following the national election she was appointed Minister of State for Teso Affairs. As a teacher she was instrumental in leading the Museveni campaign especially in 2001 when Museveni was faced with a lot opposition in the region.
Her husband, Dr George Edward Aporu Okol was once a Deputy Minister of Animal Industry and Fisheries and also a staunch NRM cadre who was instrumental in pacifying the Teso region after war broke out there in 1986.
 
Flight Captain Mike Mukula
The National Resistance Movement Vice Chairman for Eastern Uganda, Capt Mike Mukula first became close to the Museveni government when he  piloted the President  in the late 1980s. He joined politics in 1996, when he successfully contested for the Soroti Municipality parliamentary seat. He lost the municipality seat in 2006 only to make a comeback in 2011.
In 2001, he was appointed State Minister for Health, serving in that position until 2006. He was later imprisoned on allegations of corruption related to the Global Fund, but was acquitted. Despite that set back Mukula has always played a big role in mobilizing the Ateso to vote for Museveni especially in 2001 when FDC had proved to be deep rooted in the region. Through the Arrow Boys Mukula also played a big role in neutralising the advances of the Lords Resistance Army into the Teso region.
 
 
Musa Ecweru
He once served as the Deputy Resident Commissioner (DRDC) between 1993 and 1998 in Soroti and Lira districts, before being promoted to full RDC and transferred to Nebbi District, serving there until 2000. He was transferred to Gulu Distrcit  as RDC in 2000, Kasese District from 2002 until 2004 and Soroti District between 2004 and 2006.
In 2003, he also served as Chief of the Arrow Auxiliary Force, a militia established to counter the excesses of Lord’s Resistance Army. In 2006, he successfully contested for the parliamentary seat of Amuria County in Amuria District and he was appointed State Minister for Disaster Preparedness. He was re-elected in March 2011and also retained his post as Minister. He has been very vital in the struggle to capture votes in the Teso region for President Museveni.
 Joseph Ekemu
A lawyer, Joseph Ekemu is a former Member of Parliament for Kaberamaido, a seat he lost in 2001 when he was convicted and imprisoned for two years for forgery and theft. The time when Teso region was predominantly a no go area for Museveni the likes of Ekemu played a leading role campaigning for Museveni.
Steven Ileum Korit
The man from Katakwi has always played a very instrumental part when it comes to elections in his home district. He is one of those responsible for the support that Museveni enjoys in Katakwi t.
Tom Omongole
Tom Omongole hails from Ngora District and his role in the 1996 and 2001 Museveni taskforce has always been mobilizing the people of his District against the Opposition. Museveni’s votes in Ngora are highly attributed to him.
Grace Akello
Grace Akullo hails from Katakwi District and currently is Uganda’s ambassador to Rome. She was among the first women  in Teso to support the Museveni government and has persistently encouraged fellow women to support Museveni and the NRM government.
Haji Umar Okodel (RIP)
Umar Okodel was the influential LCV Chairman of Kumi district and was crucial in spreading the gospel of the NRM in his district. He has since passed on.
 
Lango
Cosmas Adyebo (RIP)
The highest ranking Lango politician since the National Resistance Movement took power in 1986, George Cosmas Adyebo was a politician and economist who was Uganda’s Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994. A staunch UPC-turned NRM supporter, Adyebo was one of the people that were at the forefront marketing President Museveni northern Uganda. He died in 2010.
 
Jovino Akaki
He served as Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development and was an important figure in mobilizing support for Museveni in the Lango region during the early days of the NRM.
Sam Engola
An astute businessman with interests the hotel and tourism industry, Engola is well known in the Lango region. He is the MP for Erute County South, current State Minister for Housing and enjoys good relations with the President. He is also a member of the National Executive Committee of National Resistance Movement. He normally accompanies the President to political rallies during campaigns in Northern Uganda.
 
Felix Okot Ogong
The Dokolo County Member of Parliament, Felix Okot Ogong hails from Abei village in Kwera sub-county, Dokolo District and his claim to political fame was in 1996 when he defeated his uncle Levi Okodi Macpio to join Parliament at the tender age of 31, making him one of youngest MPs in the sixth parliament. In 2001 he was appointed State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and later served as State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs. He was instrumental in canvassing for votes for the NRM but in 2006, Okot Ogong announced he was standing for the presidency under the NRM, in effect challenging Museveni for the party ticket. He, however, did not pull through with his ‘threats’.
Acholi Region
Walter Ochora (RIP)
For many who were of age and politically active in 1985, the name Walter Ochola reminds them of the ‘one day president’ of Uganda. For starters, he announced the overthrow of Apollo Milton Obote on July 27, 1985 on then Radio Uganda. On that day Ochora, then a Lieutenant in the Uganda national liberation Army (UNLA) held forte for his tribesmen General Tito Okello Lutwa and Lieutenant General Bazilio Olara Okello, until the duo showed up to claim the reins of power a day later. He was a staunch supporter of the NRM in Acholi and the longest serving LC V Chairman of Gulu district until he was defeated by FDC’s Martin Ojara Mapenduzi. He was then appointed by President Museveni as the Resident District Commissioner of the same district, a position he held up to his death in 2011. A retired Colonel of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, Ochora was among the few NRM cadres in northern Uganda and played a big role in ensuring Museveni gains ground in Acholi.
 
 Betty Bigombe
Betty Bigombe Oyella was MP from 1986 until 1996, and during that time also she served as State Minister for Northern Uganda. She led the first government team which  was tasked with convincing the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels to lay down their arms, initiating contact with the LRA leader Joseph Kony in June 1993, but her efforts were in vain.
In 2006 she left government service and got a job with the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. She was to bounce back in local politics when she won the parliamentary seat of Amuru District Women’s Constituency and was appointed State Minister for Water. In 2014 she resigned from Cabinet and took up a job with the World Bank in Washington DC. A recipient of several international peace awards, Bigombe was influential in Museveni’s electoral and peace campaigns.
 
Henry Okello Oryem
A son of former president General Tito Okello Lutwa, Okello Oryem fled Uganda to the United Kingdom at the ouster of his father in 1986. While there he completed his Law degree and practiced as a legal executive between 1988 and 2000. He returned to Uganda and in 2001 was elected to represent Chwa County, Kitgum District, in the Ugandan Parliament. He has served as state minister in the ministries of education and foreign affairs , and was a member of the Government Delegation to the Juba Peace Talks between the Ugandan Government and representatives of the LRA. In 2011 he bounced back as MP after defeating Uganda People’s Congress stalwart Okello Okello.
As a member of the NRM, he has since consolidated his political space and is a force to reckon with in the greater Acholi sub region.
 
 Alfred Omony ogaba
The current Resident District Commissioner of Lamwo district, Alfred Omony Ogaba is one of the first people from Northern Uganda to have supported the NRM government. At one time he served as the Sate Minister of Education and Sports, something that could have been a reward for his campaigns for the NRM in Acholi.
Betty Akech
Betty Akech was among the few people from Acholi who supported the Movement government at a time when most of the politicians from the region were rooting for UPC. She deputized the late James Wapakhabulo in the Constituent Assembly. Shealso  played a remarkable figure in canvassing support for President Museveni.
Grace Betty Akello Akech
Better known as Betty Akech, she has served in Museveni’s government as Minister for security, and a diplomat accredited to Japan and later the Sudan. Her role in mobilizing support for the NRM and Presidentt Museveni can never be underestimated. She played a leading role in the 1996 and 2001 campaigns and was among the people that accompanied the President to rallies in Acholi.
 
Beatrice Lagada
An education administrator, Beatrice Amongi Lagada worked as Inspector of schools and also as headmistress of St. Katherine’s School before joining politics. She later served as a member of the National Resistance Council, Constituency Assembly Delegate for Apac and a Resident District Commissioner for Mbarara.
She also served as the deputy director for gender at the NRM secretariat from 1997 to 2005. In 2006 she joined the 8th Parliament as women representative for Oyam District.
A woman rights activist, Hon Lagada was Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Gender Labour & Social Development. She is actively involved in fighting for women’s rights and she steered the FGM bill in Parliament and which was a success resulting in a law against FGM.
Ms Lagada is strong promoter of education especially the disadvantaged girl child, and this has given her the influence to easily reach out to the people to solicit support for the President.
 
 
West Nile
Moses Ali
General Moses Ali is a veteran and has seen it all; first as a minister in dictator Iddi Amin’s regime and then as Deputy Prime Minister in the NRM government. After the fall of Amin, Gen Ali fled to exile in the Sudan and, under the Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF1), launched a guerrilla war against the government of President Apollo Milton Obote When Museveni ousted the Okello junta in which he temporarily served, Gen Ali was absorbed into the NRM government and appointed a minister.
A lawyer, Gen Ali has represented Moyo East in Parliament for several years and Museveni has always heavily relied on him to strengthen the Movement in West Nile.
Catherine Akumu Mavengina
Catherine Mavengina was one of the Museveni loyalists from the West Nile and one time served as State Minister for Public Service in the NRM government. She was one of the leading figures in looking for votes for the President in the Nebbi region.
 
Francis Ayume (RIP)
Francis Ayume held several influential posts in the Museveni government, rising to become the second Speaker of Parliament, after the demise of James Wapakhabulo. He also served as Minister of State in the President’s Office and Attorney General.
He was very instrumental in consolidating NRM support in Arua and mobilizing for the President.
 
Zoe Bakoko Bakoru
Zoe Bakoko Bakoru joined national politics as Woman Member of Parliament for Ayivu county in Arua.
She was also appointed Cabinet Minister in charge of Gender Labour and Social Development, but was later to flee the country after she was linked to financial impropriety in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). But before that she became very influential in West Nile and worked hard to ensure Museveni gets victory in both 1996 and 2001 elections.
Dr Eric Adriko
Dr. Eric Adriko is an academic and politician who once served as 2nd Deputy Prime Minister in Museveni’s government. With his educational background, and strong financial muscle he played a leading role in canvassing votes for Museveni in both elections of 1996 and 2001 in West Nile.
Patrick Okumu Ringa
Patrick Okumu Ringa joined politics in 2001 when he was elected Member of Parliament representing Padyere County.  President Museveni appointed him State Minister for Public Service.  Before joining politics, Okumu Ringa was a prominent car dealer and majority shareholder in Afro Motors, a company that imported Peugeot models. This made him a powerful figure in the region thus he comfortably campaigned for Museveni given his financial influence.