On October 24, 2023, Members of Parliament gathered in a special plenary sitting to pay homage to the late Hon. Henry Kyemba, a former minister in the Idi Amin and Museveni governments. Kyemba, who also served as a senior public servant during the presidency of Apollo Milton Obote, was remembered for his remarkable and conciliatory life of public service.
During the tribute session, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs, Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, moved the motion to honor Kyemba. She praised him as a distinguished statesman known for advocating democracy, good governance, peace, the rule of law, human rights, access to justice for all, and the strengthening of public administration. These ideals were highlighted in his book, ‘State of Blood.’
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga, commended Kyemba’s dedication and noted that the values by which he lived remain relevant in the present. Kyemba’s willingness to retire honorably after a career dating back to Uganda’s independence in 1962 served as a testament to the nobility of public service.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Hon. Nobert Mao, called for a reduction in high-intensity politics in the country and suggested following in Kyemba’s footsteps to promote reconciliation and adhere to the constitution.
The Third Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Rukia Nakadama, emphasized the need for “mature politics” in line with Kyemba’s example, urging common sense to prevail.
Hon. James Nsaba Buturo highlighted Kyemba’s aversion to wealth accumulation and his integrity, a rarity in modern times. Buturo noted that Kyemba was an inspiration to many.
Several mentees in the House fondly remembered Kyemba as a mentor, including Hon. Felix Okot Ogong, who highlighted Kyemba’s character, demeanor, and his ability to bring peace and comfort to those around him. Okot Ogong also underscored Kyemba’s commitment to compromise, encouraging all political sides to embrace this trait.
Hon. James Baba recounted a personal experience with Kyemba, wherein the late statesman made uncharitable remarks about him. However, they later reconciled, with Kyemba taking the initiative to bury the hatchet, and they remained good friends.
A special session of the Jinja City Council will take place on October 25, 2023, to honor Kyemba, followed by his burial on October 26, 2023, in Jinja.