Mbabazi: Ruhakana Rugunda Narrowly Survived 1973 Execution Top story

4455 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
He said that Rugunda was warned by his friends in the government that he was being trailed by the Idi Amin intelligence. To evade capture, Rugunda was advised to shave his famous beard.

Former Prime Minister and Kinkiizi West Member of Parliament Amama Mbabazi told Parliament that the newly appointed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda survived being executed by former President Idi Amin Dada forces in 1973 due to his ability to make friends from all sectors of society.
Mbabazi made the revelation during his first speech as a back bencher in Parliament since he was dropped as Prime Minister on 18th September 2014 by President Museveni.
This was during a debate in which MPs were debating a motion moved by Vice President Kiwanuka Sekandi for Ruhakana Rugunda to be approved as the new Prime Minister.
Mbabazi told MPs that his friendship with Ruhakana Rugunda stretches back 56 years.
He revealed that Rugunda was the link between the forces that fought Idi Amin in the 1970's and President Yoweri Museveni who was then in exile.
Mbabazi said that when the dictatorial regime of Amin came to Uganda, they opposed it through the help of people like Rugunda. Rugunda acted as the link between rebels in Uganda and the leader of the struggle Museveni.
He further revealed to MPs how Rugunda survived being executed in 1973 following  the botched invasion of Uganda from Tanzania by the rebels. Public executions of captured rebels followed carried out in Mbarara, Mbale and Fort Portal.
Mbabazi said that one of the people that was supposed to be executed then was Ruhakana Rugunda but he survived because of his greatest skill was making friendship.
He said that Rugunda was warned by his friends in the government that he was being trailed by the Idi Amin intelligence. To evade capture, Rugunda was advised to shave his famous beard.
"These beards you see hear is not the original beard, you cannot imagine how Ndugu Rugunda would like without that beard", Mbabazi joked.
//Cue in: "those various………
Cue out:……he's alive today"//
Before making his speech as a back bencher, MPs and the public in the gallery were treated to drama as Mbabazi was given four minutes by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to speak to the motion.
When he stood up to speak, Mbabazi failed to turn on the microphone and sought for help from the Butaleja Woman MP Andiru Nebanda who complied and helped him switch on the microphone making MPs laugh out loud.
Mbabazi was, however, unable to finish his speech because his microphone was turned off after his four minutes elapsed. MPs on the opposition side then shouted on top of their voices as they stamped and banged the benches seeking more time to be given to Mbabazi.
Even with additional three minutes from Speaker Kadaga, Mbabazi still had to be cut short. Bujenje County MP Kabakumba Matsiko was next to speak but she offered her time to Mbabazi who then spoke again.
Meanwhile, as the session was going on Bufumbira North MP John Kamara Nzeyimana seated next to Mbabazi was seen capturing his moment seated next to former Premier on his iPad.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.