PROFILE: Who was Edward Rurangaranga?

Maj (Rtd) Edward Rurangaranga, the former Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party national chairman, has died Tuesday morning aged 85.

Rurangaranga collapsed dead at his home in Kitagata in the western Uganda district of Sheema.

The veteran politician was one of two-time Uganda president Apollo Milton Obote’s blue-eyed boys, winning him support in Ankole region.

Family sources say the fallen veteran politician was battling both diabetes and hypertension.

Here is a quick look at the life of Rurangaranga:

Born: 1932

Born in Kitagata, Sheema district

Died: 2017

Party: UPC

Close confidant of Apollo Milton Obote

President Milton Obote with Rurangaranga (immediate left).

Had no known military background but was part of military operations to oust Dictator Idi Amin

Fled to exile after January 25, 1971 coup in which Amin toppled Obote

He fled in 1972 after he was tortured and shot in the leg as he tried to escape from Amin’s captors.

He fell into the river Rwizi and was washed off shore and ran into exile.

Returned to Uganda after 1979

Appointed Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister in Obote II government of December 1980

Also served as local government minister

Went into exile in 1985 when Obote government collapsed

Returned in March 1986 when Museveni had taken over

In 2005, he warned President Yoweri Museveni to avoid a situation where by he (Museveni) would die in exile.
“We have had a number of past leaders dying in exile because of unfair conditions in Museveni’s government but I want to assure you that anyone behind these conditions will also be forced to die in exile as long as these conditions continue to exist,” he told KFM’s Andrew Mwenda.

On return from exile, NRA arrested him and jailed him for five years until January 21, 1991

Later served as national chairman of UPC party

Survived by a widow, Winfred, and eight children – three boys and five girls.

Marion Ayebazibwe