The former President Museveni’s Press Secretary Ms Hope Kivengere, has died at Nakasero Hospital where she had been taken for treatment.
According to sources close to the family, she felt pain in the stomach five days ago and was later diagnosed with anemia.
She was many things-a writer, an editor, strategic communications expert, regional peacemaker, women activist. She championed peace in the region like her late father Bishop Festo Kivengere, a respected Anglican evangelist championed Christian revival movement in world.
Ms Kivengere served as Museveni’s the first and longest serving press aide from 1986, when the National Resistance Movement came to power until 2001 when she joined Albany Associates, a British Communications firm.
As Museveni’s first Press Secretary, she worked as bridge between the nascent media in Uganda and the National Resistance Movement which was in early days largely seen a government sprinkled with socialist tendencies that many times conflict with press freedom.
She worked hard to bridge the gap between the media and President Museveni who never believed in involving the media in his programs because he thought his actions were out for the people to see without involving the media.
She was replaced by Mary Kororo Okurut, the former Bushenyi Woman MP who also later left to join politics in 2004 and contested in the by-election following the death of Bernadette Bigirwa, the former district woman representative.
In 2006, she went Darfur, Sudan as a consultant under Albany Associates for the recently wound-up UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
She did her work in Darfur with exemplary and in 2009, Mr Simon Haselcok, the boss of Albany in London called and told the UN wanted her to move to Somalia to help set up an office and a team to counter the alshabaab that had dominated the information flow from the Horn of Africa.
This was the beginning of her career as regional and international a strategic communications expert with hands on message to prevent and counter violent extremism.
From the scratch, she started the current African Union-UN Information Support Team that has been offering media and communication consultancy to African Union, UN and the government of Somalia.
She is applauded for starting outreach programs, filming unit, research and press units at IST that are still operating and have effectively managed to counter the al shabaab propaganda in Somalia.
In 2014, she left Somalia after Albany Associates lost the contract and she went to Djibouti to work with IGAD in helping set up Center for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
From Djibouti she went back to Sudan as the African Union envoy in Sudan to help mediate talks between the Sudanese protagonists that are fighting for power after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir.
She has also been working with Common Market for Eastern and Southern African as an election observer in different African Countries.
Joining NRA struggle
In 1981, she fled into exile in Kenya after she was arrested and tortured by the security agencies after the current minister of security Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, who was fleeing to join the rebels in the bush, spent a night at her house in Kampala.
After her release from Makindye military cell, she fled to Nairobi and later became part of the NRA External Wing whose role was to externally mobilise support for the rebels. The Wing was led Mathew Rukikaire and other prominent members of this group included Amama Mbabazi, Ruhakana Rugunda, Sam Njuba, James Wapakhabulo.
She was part of Museveni’s negotiating team in Nairobi with then Military leader Gen Tito Okello Lutwa in 1985. The peace talks later collapsed and the NRA, now UPDF matched and captured Kampala on January 1986.