In 1994, Kazibwe was appointed vice-president, replacing the late Dr. Samson Kisekka. She held the position until 2003. She also doubled as minister of agriculture, animal industry, and fisheries
Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe was the first female vice-president in Africa and in post-independent Uganda.
Kazibwe, who began her political career as a member of the youth and women’s wings of the Democratic Party in the early 1980s, rose quickly through the ministerial ranks before she was appointed vice-president.
She first won an election as a village leader under the no-party Movement system in 1987 and was later elected a women’s representative for the Kampala district. She later became the chairperson of the advisory committee for Museveni’s election campaign in 1996.
Kazibwe joined President Yoweri Museveni’s administration in 1989 when she was appointed deputy minister for industry, a post she held until 1991. From 1991 until 1994, she served as the minister for gender and community development. In 1994, she was elected a delegate in the Constitution Assembly, which drafted the 1995 Uganda Constitution.
In 1996, she was elected Member of Parliament for Kigulu South in Iganga district. She was among a handful of women who successfully contested for a direct parliamentary seat against male rivals.
In 1994, Kazibwe was appointed vice-president, replacing the late Dr. Samson Kisekka. She held the position until 2003. She also doubled as minister of agriculture, animal industry, and fisheries.
As agriculture minister, Kazibwe was embroiled in the valley dam saga that brought her before a parliamentary probe committee for questioning.
In 1998, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) awarded her the “Ceres Medal” for her “contribution to food security and poverty eradication”. Kazibwe is one of an array of doctors who helped contribute to the NRA struggle by treating combatants who were injured during the war.
Education and career
Born on July 1, 1955, in Iganga District in eastern Uganda, Kazibwe attended Mt. Saint Mary’s College Namagunga, a prestigious all-female boarding high school, located on the Kampala-Jinja highway.
In 1974, she joined Makerere University School of Medicine, where she studied human medicine, graduating with a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree in 1979. She later obtained a master of medicine degree, also from Makerere University Medical School, specialising in general surgery.
In 2006, she went to pursue a doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Population and International Health, majoring in Health Policy Analysis. It is unclear whether she has already completed her doctorate.
Kazibwe was married to Eng. Charles Kazibwe before she filed for divorce in April 2002.
Her husband opposed the divorce, owing to his Catholic faith, adding that his wife often came home late without giving a proper explanation.
Finding it difficult to perform her political duties and deal with the increasingly messy divorce case, on May 21, 2003, Kazibwe stepped down from her position in the Government, asking not to be allowed to continue her studies. She is a mother of four and is sometimes referred to as Nalongo, (mother of twins). Unfortunately, in 2011, one of the twins, Babirye, passed on.