People

INDEPTH PROFILE: Who Is Gerald Karuhanga? (Part 1)

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The little-known patriot’s life journey is an interesting one. It’s a story of a boy groomed in a strict catholic family of honesty, hard work, truth-telling, humility, discipline and integrity.

A brilliant lawyer trained from Makerere University, Karuhanga hails from the powerful Jacob Kafureka in Itojo Sub-County, in Ntungamo district, South Western Uganda.

“He is well groomed and outspoken. He was brought up in a Christian way of life. Karuhanga grew well-knowing that integrity and courage were paramount virtues in one’s life,” recounts a close friend.

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AMBITIOUS

Karuhanga is known to have nursed political ambitions from an early age while at St. Mukasa Preparatory seminary.

He went to Kitunga Boarding school then St. Mukasa before joining Kitabi Seminary in Bushenyi.

While at Kitabi for his O’Levels, Karuhanga sought the position of deputy head prefect. For unknown reasons, Karuhanga shifted to SMACK in Entebbe after leaving Kitabi.

Sources say he participated in Kitabi’s Only one Strike in the school’s history when they attacked the neighbouring St Cecilia Girls school.

He passed with flying colours thus winning a slot at Makerere Law Faculty.

He swiftly joined politics at University. He was elected guild president on FDC ticket. At one time, in 2006, he led students in a strike protesting the re-arrest of rebel Peoples’ Redemption Army suspects at the High Court.

They had been earlier granted bail only to be apprehended by the infamous Black Mamba.

The strike operation was coordinated by Col. Kizza Besigye, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Karuhanga.

On that day, the two former UPDF army officers, rushed from their homes and were stationed at Kisseka market by 6am.

Karuhanga was to lead over 1,000 Makerere students to the city centre but mainly in downtown areas of Kisseka and Nakivubo.

According to the plan, Besigye was to inform his supporters in town especially in Kisseka to prepare for a battle with police for re-arresting PRA!

So, quickly, the students, led by Karuhanga mingled with traders in downtown. At exactly, 9am, Besigye blew the whistle, a sign flagging off the war.

Tyres were burnt, shops destroyed, stones pelted at police and CPS besieged! It took a huge force from Kakiri barracks to settle the dust sparked by Besigye.

The following day, Daily Monitor ran a cover story, saying Makerere Students Wanted PRA suspects released!

Karuhanga had fused an education institution into the violent political systems of the time.

Karuhanga’s friends

Well, he maintains a low profile. He is not the kind of person you will find in the clubs of Kampala despite being a youth MP and well to do. His known Best friend is Francis Harimwomugasho, a lawyer with an advocate located on former Equatorial Hotel. They have been together since childhood and went to Law School together.

Banturaki Bernard, a lawyer from Ntungamo is Karuhanga’s best friend.

Karuhanga is known to be very vocal and never fails to express his dissatisfaction whenever things go wrong. His friends and those who know him were not surprised that he stood up strong in Parliament last evening. One of them said “that is the Gerald We know”

“He was a member of the Kitabi Seminary Class of 1997, a good Student who always aimed high,” recounts Bob, an Old Student.

Journalist Arinaitwe Rugyendo describes Karuhanga as a man of virtues.

He neither drinks nor smokes. His rise to Uganda’s political arena will shake all corners of the nation. He is a man no one can afford to ignore.

A source says First Lady Janet Museveni begged him to join NRM and earn a ministerial position, which he turned down.

We are told Janet admires his virtues.

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