From politics, business, sports, entertainment and any other fields, the Nile Post looks at the most influential Ugandans in the year 2022 but in no particular order.
The Ugandan long distance runner ended the year 2022 on a high just as he started it.
First things first, in July, Cheptegei put up a masterclass performance by fashionably winning the men’s world 10,000m title at the World Athletics Championship in Oregon.
Running at the Hawyard Field in Eugene in the US, Cheptegei led his colleagues for most of the race before finishing off the race with a time of 27:27:43 to beat Kenya’s Stanley Waithaka Mburu who posted a time of 27:27:90.
By winning in Oregon, the 25 year old fastest man in history at 5000m and 10,000m became the fourth back to back world 10,000m champion.
He had earlier won gold in the 5,000m race at the same championship.
Climaxing the year in style, Cheptegei won the 10km San Silvestre Vallecana race on the streets on the Spanish capital, Madrid on Saturday.
As the head of state, Museveni was always on the frontline defending Uganda.
For example, he blasted the EU Parliament over its resolution in regards the oil pipeline.
“Some of these people(EU MPs) are insufferable. You(EU MPs) need to control yourself not to explode.(They are) so shallow, so egocentric and so wrong that they think they know everything broadcasting their ignorance all over the place but they should calm down. This is a wrong battleground for them,” Museveni said.
Museveni also continued playing his cards in regards the Ukraine-Russia war where he avoided to publicly come out to support any of the sides.
The president never relented defending what he thought was right, just like the case was during the hot debate on the controversial Vinca coffee deal.
For example in June, he admitted to have initiated the controversial coffee agreement signed between Italian businesswoman Enrica Pinetti’s company and the government of Uganda.
“When I met madam Pinetti, she had no idea about coffee. I, however, could see she had a wide network of contacts and I asked her to look into coffee. After some time she came back with a positive report that it is doable. For her she was in hospitals,” Museveni said.
Speaking during the 60th Independence Day celebrations at Kololo he reiterated the same.
“ I am the culprit, come punish me. In other words, am committing a crime trying to add value to our coffee.”
In October, the Ugandan president apologized to Kenyans over the “insensitive” tweets by his son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
“I ask our Kenyan brothers and sisters to forgive us for tweets sent by General Muhoozi, former Commander of Land Forces here, regarding the election matters in that great country. It is not correct for Public officers, be they civilian or military, to comment or interfere in any way, in the internal affairs of brother countries,” Museveni said.
Museveni kept in the media all year out in 2022.
The deputy Speaker of Parliament remained an influential figure is many aspects, but most especially during legislation in parliament as he chaired a number of sessions.
Outside the country, Tayebwa is hailed for having warned the European Union not to force its beliefs on homosexuality and abortion to Africans.
“We have discovered that with the Post Cotonou agreement, there are hidden clauses concerning human rights. Clauses to do with sexuality, promotion of LGBT/homosexuality and clauses to do with abortion,” he said during the 61st session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States Parliamentary Assembly and 42nd Session of the ACP-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA) in Maputo, Mozambique on October, 31, 2022.
“We are a society that is not ready for homosexuality and we are a society that is not ready for abortion. As Africa, we believe that the institution of the family is at the core of whatever we are doing. The EU is demanding that we take a certain root, they should also know the character of our society.”
Tayebwa also chaired the Ugandan parliament as it slammed the “racist” European Union over a motion seeking to block the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project.
“This motion seeks to curtail the progress of Uganda’s Oil and Gas developments and by extension, the country’s socio-economic growth and development….the resolution represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania,” he said.
“These are individual MPs abusing their authority. You want to say we did not do a good job here? That they have more information about our resources than we do? This is just a scare of seeing an African country going to progress, and you would no longer be begging every day. You can question anything but issues of economic sabotage and blackmail.”
Vice President Jessica Alupo followed the script of her predecessor, Edward Ssekandi by remaining obedient and desisting from clashing with her boss, President Museveni.
However, Alupo was more active than her predecessor by making several appearances at functions around the country where he represented the president.
Alupo also delivered several addresses, especially on Ebola on behalf of President Museveni.
The vice president also ably steered the country in the absence of President Museveni who had flown out of the country to the US-African leaders summit .
During one of those days, the ADF rebels who had tried to attack the country from neighbouring DRC were given a bloody nose, thanks to the guidance of the Maj(rtd) Jessica Alupo who was acting as the commander in chief.
The former Commander of the UPDF Land Forces, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba kept the public, especially social media users glued to his social media accounts due to his views on several issues around the world.
Whereas on most pundits accused Gen Muhoozi of being controversial but also breaking the army code of conduct, the First Son didn’t care and continued with his cryptic tweets that saw many nickname him the “tweeting general.”
From the war between the Tigray and Ethiopian government, the Russia-Ukraine war and M23 invasion of DRC to the then strained relations between Uganda and Rwanda, the First Son expressed his views unabated.
Gen Muhoozi is also credited for brokering peace between Uganda and Rwanda , with the two neighbouring countries being at loggerheads for almost five years.
In Kigali he met with President Paul Kagame and after the meeting, Rwanda accepted to open its border with Uganda which had been closed for over three years but also convinced the Rwandan leader to visit his Ugandan counterpart, President Museveni.
However, Gen Muhoozi’s tweets in which he said he would only need two weeks with his army to capture Kenya’s capital, Nairobi backfired when President Museveni dropped him as the UPDF commander of the Land Forces.
On the other side, the commander in chief “picked” him up and promoted him to the rank of four star general in the Ugandan army.
However, Gen Muhoozi continued being influential on social media, especially twitter where he has over 653000 followers whom he kept guessing on his next tweets.
The Next Media group Chief Executive Officer oversaw the continued expansion of the group with addition of several other brands.
In June, Next Media, under the stewardship of Kariisa, launched NBS Sport, a 24-hour sports dedicated channel.
With the new channel, according to Kariisa, Next Media sought to play in a unique gap for an audience across demographics that they were not doing with the existing brands.
The Nagulu based Ugandan conglomerate also launched Sanyuka Prime, a dedicated channel for the Startimes Uganda Premier League.
Kariisa capped the year with the launch of the state-of-the-art Next Media Park, the new home to the Ugandan multimedia conglomerate and has remained the talk of town for many months, with many applauding him for changing the face of Ugandan media industry.
The Nakawa West legislator won the hearts of many in 2022 following the manner in which he handled the investigation into the mismanagement of Uganda Airlines as the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises.
Grilling the national carrier officials led by the CEO, Jennifer Bamuturaki, the Ssenyonyi-led COSASE unearthed several irregularities that saw the airline board request that the probe be done without the media in a bid to “protect” the image of the national carrier.
Ssenyonyi however declined the request.
“If you don’t have anything to hide then, everything should be out there. We think that Uganda Airlines should be accountable to Parliament and also the public out there,” he said.
Named as Prime Minister in 2021 in a cabinet that President Museveni described as one of fishermen, Nabbanja remained an influential figure in the public in 2022.
From the videos in which she was captured dancing without any worry to dishing out cash to NRM supporters, Nabbanja remained a popular figure in 2022.
Towards the end of the year, she rattled the judiciary when she stormed the Mengo magistrates court and rescued a widow of seven children from prison where she had been jailed for failure to pay a shs2.8 million debt.
During the incident, Nabbanja who calls herself “majegere” a Luganda name for grader grilled Grade One Magistrate Amon Mugezi, who had ordered for the imprisonment of the widow over a land dispute that had been decided ex parte.
Whereas her actions didn’t please the judiciary that said it amounted to an attack on its independence, Nabbanja scored in one way or the other.