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Meet Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Uganda’s ‘acting president’

On June 8, 2023, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni appointed Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja as acting President while he went into isolation after contracting coronavirus. He tested positive for the highly infectious virus yesterday and revealed this to the world during his State of The Nation address in Kampala, Uganda.

“I have therefore, self-isolated at Nakasero and I have delegated my work for today and tomorrow (Heroes’ Day in Luwero) to Prime Minister, Robinah Nabanjja,” said President Museveni in part.

In his statement, he said he was going into isolation.

This is the first time in more than three decades President Museveni has gone on leave.

“I have, therefore, got the second forced leave in the last 53 years, ever since 1971, when we started fighting Idi Amin. One other time, was when I had a problem of sinuses and I had to lie low for some days at Mweya. By God’s Grace all is well, and I am only experiencing mild symptoms. However, I always prefer to err on the side of caution and self-isolate for now,” added President Museveni.

And so, who is Robinah Nabbanja?

She is the first female Prime Minister of Uganda. She is also the 11th Prime Minister of Uganda. She was appointed by President Museveni as PM in 2021 after the Ugandan Parliament approved her nomination. She also serves as the Leader of Government Business.

“I commit to build on the foundation set by my predecessors. This will be done through strengthening the link between Executive and Parliament,” said PM Nabbanja following her confirmation.

She is a member of President Museveni’s National Resistance Movement party and profusely thanked him for her appointment as well as Ugandans for always voting for him.

The 53-year-old was born in Kakumiro District where she went for her schooling. She studied and obtained certificates and diplomas in leadership, management and development studies. She was also a teacher at Uganda Martyrs Secondary School in Kakumiro. Her career path evolved and she later went on to serve in various capacities including District Commissioner- Secretary for Health, Gender and Community Services and Resident District Commissioner.

She dove in politics in 2011 and successfully vied or the Kibaale District Women Representative. In 2016, she also won the newly created Women Constituency position for Kakumiro District. In 2019, following a Cabinet resuffle, she was appointed State Minister for Health (General Duties). In a new Cabinet named on June 8, 2021, she was named Prime Minister of the 82-member cabinet.

She is married to Mr Hassan Musafiri, a former chairman of Nkooko Sub County. They married in 1990 and are parents of two girls.

This is also the first time President Museveni temporarily handed over power to anyone since he became President 37 years ago.

Nabbanja was trolled on social media in January 2022 after suggesting at a television interview that Kenya experiences winter.

She made the statement in an attempt to justify that Uganda experiences better weather as she compared to Kenya.

“We have a very good country compared to other countries, just go to Kenya here and see. They have winter, and we don’t.”

Also read: Coronavirus: Museveni heads to isolation, appoints temporary successor