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Tuesday,November 20,2018 02:44 AM

Capt. Mike Mukula to quit politics

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th May 2015 07:36 PM

The NRM National Vice Chairperson Eastern region and Member of Parliament for Soroti municipality, Capt. Mike Mukula is set to quit elective politics.

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The NRM National Vice Chairperson Eastern region and Member of Parliament for Soroti municipality, Capt. Mike Mukula is set to quit elective politics.

By Godfrey Ojore & Samuel Ouga

The NRM National Vice Chairperson Eastern region and Member of Parliament for Soroti municipality, Capt. Mike Mukula is set to quit elective politics.

He made the announcement during a public farewell rally in Soroti Saturday.

Speaking to a mammoth crowd of supporters who filled Soroti municipal sports ground, the flight Captain announced:

"I have been with you for about 20 years, I have walked the walk, and I have traveled the journey. Today I want to thank the Lord because my political journey as MP has come to an end and come February 2016, my name will not be on any ballot box," Mukula said.

 "I have stepped aside not out of pressure, not because I fear, not because I am not well I have stepped aside because I believe my time to serve you 20 years is enough time to serve you," Mukula said as he wept.

Mukula, who was accompanied by his family, said that besides bidding farewell to Soroti municipality voters he was also thanking God for successfully undergoing two major surgeries in Kampala two month ago.


Mukula and his wife who is carrying their grandson during prayers at Sports ground. PHOTO/Godfrey Ojore

"I have been very sick I went through two major operations in IHK. I would be in heaven now but I want to thank the doctors and the biggest doctor was the Lord Almighty," Mukula said without giving details on why he was operated.

Last month Etop newspaper quoted the minister for Teso Affairs Christine Amongin Aporu saying Capt. Mukula was operated over appendicitis.

Soon after undergoing surgery, Mukula's radio station, and facebook account carried an announcement of Mukula quitting politics. People thought he never meant it until Saturday.

"Mukula says he will continue helping the people of Teso by creating opportunities for them as he spends more time concentrating in building his business empire with now new entrants like his Uganda Airways, Uganda Aviation School, Teso Foods Industry etc," the message read.

The bishop of Soroti Anglican Church, George William Erwau, hailed Mukula for the decision to give way for the young stars.



Mukula receiving a cock from Fred Opolot as a gifit while candiates eyeing his seat in 2016 look on. PHOTO/Godfrey Ojore

"Instead of may be going through embarrassment of people kicking him using a ballot box, he has decided tactfully to retreat with honors," Bishop Erwau said.

He said Mukula took up arms to fight the rebels of the Lords Resistance Movement (LRA) who invaded Teso in 2003, and recruited the Arrow boys militias who helped the UPDF to kick out the rebels from Teso within two months.

Soroti district MP Angellina Osegge (FDC) said that Mukula has set a record that other leaders both in opposition and the ruling party should emulate.

"I want this example that my brother Mukula has demonstrated today to go all the way to the lowest to the highest," Osegge said.

Charles Elasu, the NRM chairman Soroti district said Mukula's decision is hurting the party in Soroti and requested him to vie for the second time as Eastern Uganda national vice chairperson of NRM.

"We have also been respected because of him, his charisma and zeal make him stand out. I pray that we get a person who can manage to fit his shoes well," Elasu said.  

As Mukula bows down from politics over eight contenders, five from NRM and three from opposition, have declared interest in his seat.

Among them is Fred Opolot the foreign affairs spokesman who has lost twice to Elijah Okupa in  Kasilo county Serere district.


A farewell party was later held at Trends discotheque where supporters drunk and danced till morning. There were special performances by music artistes including Bebe cool.

Background

Airline Captain George Michael Mukula, commonly known as Mike Mukula, is a professional pilot, businessman and politician in Uganda.

He is the current Member of Parliament representing Soroti Municipality having served position since 2001. He has previously served as State Minister of Health, from 2001 until 2006.

Early life and education


Mike Mukula was born in Soroti, Teso sub-region, Eastern Uganda, on 27 August 1956. He attended local schools before he was admitted to Kenya School of Flying, at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya's capital city.

He completed his pilot's training in the United States. In 2005, he was awarded the degree of Master of Business Administration by Nkumba University.

In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Latin University of Theology, based in Torrance, California, USA.

Career

In the late 1980s Mike Mukula worked as a personal pilot to President Yoweri Museveni. Mukula owned a fleet of Cessna aircraft which he leased out. He would personally pilot the president in one of those planes.

Mukula owns a couple of other businesses including a construction company, Voice of Teso radio in Soroti, Voice of Busoga and owns an aviation school in Kampala, among other entities.

He joined politics in 2001, when he successfully contested for the Soroti Municipality parliamentary seat. He has continuously occupied that position since, successfully defending it in 2006 and in 2011.

In 2001, he was appointed State Minister for Health, serving in that position until 2006. In the cabinet reshuffle of May 23, 2006, President Museveni dropped him from cabinet.

Controversy

In June 2006, a Commission of Inquiry into the misuse of funds of the Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in its report, recommended that the then Minister of Health, Jim Muhwezi and his two Ministers of State, Captain Mike Mukula and Dr. Alex Kamugisha, be prosecuted for misuse of public funds.

In January 2013, he was charged with embezzlement of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) fund and sentenced to four years in prison.

Capt. Mike Mukula appealed and the appellate court dismissed the embezzlement charges in March 2013.

The Anti-Corruption court judge; Justice David Wangutusi ruled that Mukula was innocent, adding that the lower court ignored vital evidence in the case

Mukula is married and a father of five children.
 

Capt. Mike Mukula to quit politics

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