We offer our sincere Condolences to the family and friends of Hon.Henry Kyemba upon his passing-Uganda’s Speaker Rt.Hon Annet Anita Among mourns the late former Ugandan Minister Henry Kyemba.
Hon.Kyemba served his Country with distinction in various capacities and played a critical role in preserving the history of Uganda. We pray that the Lord comforts his loved ones in this moment of grief and grants his soul eternal rest.Former minister and retired politician Henry Kyemba has died at 84, a close family member confirmed to The Nile Post on Thursday morning.
The retired civil servant turned politician by accident served as a permanent secretary, private personal secretary and much later a cabinet minister in the Idi Amin administration serving in the docket of health.
On October 19, 2023, the final curtain fell on the life of Henry Kyemba, a veteran Ugandan politician, civil servant, and author. Family members said Kyemba passed on peacefully early morning on Thursday, at the age of 84.
Kyemba’s life story is illuminated by his years of service as the Private Secretary to Presidents Apollo Milton Obote and Idi Amin Dada, a minister in the Amin and Museveni governments, a member of the Constituent Assembly that made the 1995 constitution, and a Member of the Sixth Parliament of Uganda.
He served as one of the members of the Judicial Service Commission, the Chairperson of the Madhvani Foundation Scholarship Committee, and a Rotary District Governor, a testament to his commitment to duty and honour.
Shrewd, and intrepid are some of the adjectives that those that worked close to him use as perfect descriptions while others have described him as a man with high emotional intelligence and master of knowing how to handle people from different walks of life as he had mastered how to handle his boss Idi Amin in the 1970s.
Kyemba, who was on a delegation that went with Obote to Singapore in 1971 received with shock the news of the coup in Uganda that had toppled his boss.
puty Speaker of Parliament through his X handle formerly Twitter described Henry Kyemba as a very distinguished statesman and one of the most senior leaders in this country, who served several regimes including; serving as the first Presidential Private Secretary of Milton Obote, Minister for Health under Idi Amin and Minister for Presidency under President Museveni.
Professor Derek Peterson, who has documented and archived part of Uganda’s historical events especially those related to Id Amin’s rule said Kyemba was a fixture in Uganda’s public life: advisor to presidents Obote and Amin; dedicated civil servant; courageous critic of Amin’s brutality; and custodian of memory”
With the passing of Rotarian Henry Kyemba, the curtain has fallen on yet another crop of young educated Ugandans who took up positions in the country’s civil service immediately before or after attained its independence in 1962.
He was in the league of the Late Kirunda Kievejinja, Wanume Kibedi, Agrey Awori, Mayanja Nkanji, Abu Kakyama Mayanja, Adoko Nekyon, Akena Adoko, Mathias Ngobi, David Lumu and many others in that league. He went to Makerere University between 1957 and 1962. Joining the Civil Service
Kyemba served as the first Principle Private Secretary to the first Prime Minister of Independent Uganda the late Dr. Milton Obote whom he had first met at Busoga College Mwiri in the mid-fifties.
In past narrations to URN, Henry Kyemba indicated that taking up that job was one of the biggest challenges he faced after university
. “And it was a big challenge. I had known Milton Obote from Busoga College Mwiri. But here is the young man after Makerere in the Prime Minister’s office just before independence. Serving him as I must to the best of my ability”
Kyemba narrated that he thought that he was to spend only two years as the Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. “Because serving as a private secretary is not the kind of job where you say it is a cup of tea,
” He said the good part of the job related to some of the fringe benefits that come with being close to the head of state. “You travel first class, you stay in the best hotel where the President stays, and very rarely do you pay your bills. You have your per-diems but the host government pays for your bills,” Surviving Assassination Attempts on Obote
Kyemba survived a bullet that hit President Apollo Milton Obote on 19th December 1969. There was an assassination attempt against Obote as he was leaving the UPC annual delegates’ conference at Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala. The bullet struck Obote in the face, breaking two of his teeth and passing through his cheek. Kyemba was with Obote in the same car.
He spent a short spell with Dr. Obote in exile (Tanzania) before returning to Uganda where Idi Amin was the head of state.