People Power Movement leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine this week unveiled Mrs Lina Zedriga Waru Abuku as Deputy Leader of the People Power Movement to the surprise of many who expected one of the popular faces within , most notably, Bugiri Municipality’s Asuman Basalirwa and Mityana Municipality’s Francis Zaake Butebi to take up the role.
The surprise announcement has got a significant implication in the young Movement’s bid to establish it’s self in the bid to take power from President Yoweri Museveni who has been Uganda’s head since 1986.
Below we discuss the major implications of Dr Zedriga’s addition to People power.
The appointment highlighted Mr Kyagulanyi’s statesmanship. A person of Dr Zedriga’s profile, who had over the years opted to live low from politics, despite her husband who has been missing since 2001,having mobilised for Col Kizza Besigye in West Nile makes one wonder what she was promised. Whatever it is, it has highlighted the young Legislator’s ability to negotiate political situations which is an important element for a good leader.
Dr Zedriga’s appointment also comes with the installation of gender balance which has been lacking at the top of the movement. Although Mr Kyagulanyi had tried to get some women on board, none has actually formed part of the Movement’s predominant big logs which was bound to view it as a political group for men.
With Zedriga as it’s second in command, many more women are expected to be seen at the front of People Power’s endeavors in the bid to establish itself as a force to reckon with.
Since it’s inception, the People power Movement has always been looked at as a political organisation for the young people, with majority of the aged population feeling left out. Some have actually gone ahead to down play their chances to take over power as its leadership is dominated by young and inexperienced people.
At 59 years of age however, Ms Zedriga will signify a new chapter in the books of the People Power Movement and change the old biased conception which will most certainly see many more old and experienced politicians from both the opposition, ruling National Resistance Movement party and independents, joined People Power without feeling isolated.
It also dispels the bad publicity on people power being an ethnic political movement,with many of it’s Frontline cadres coming from the Country’s Central region.
With people like Joel Ssenyonyi – the group’s Spokesperson, Medard Ssegona, Fred Nyanzi, Zaake , Mbwatekamwa, Luttamaguzi Paul Ssemakula etc, all coming from Buganda and forming an important clique around the leader of the movement,many people had been forced to look at them as a group whose usefulness would be limited to Buganda. But now that the group’s second most senior executive has been chosen from among the people of West Nile,whoever would like to accuse people power of being a tribal movement will have to think twice.
The appointment is also seen as a move towards the formation of a more structured political movement.
At the time of it’s inception, the architects of the Movement had argued that they intended to form an organization that didn’t work with formal structures. However, this was always going to cause trouble for the top management of the organization as it wasn’t too long before Mr Kyagulanyi saw the necessity of having some kind of loose structuring hence Joel Ssenyonyi was appointed to act as it’s mouthpiece. This was followed by the appointment of regional coordinator and also down to the Districts.
Dr Lina Zedriga’s Career fact file:
Deputy Leader of the People Power Movement in charge of Political Mobilisation.
Political leader with years of grassroots mobilization for political & social causes.
•Seasoned mentor of leaders, especially women in politics
• Born on 8th September, 1961 (aged 59).
Mother of five and grandmother of four
• Hails from Vura constituency, Arua District, Northern Uganda
• Her husband, Rauxen Zedriga who was Dr. Besigye’s chief coordinator in West-Nile was kidnapped and has been missing since August, 2001.
Holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict Resolution (Sewanee University USA & Makerere University) Master of Arts in Human Rights, Bachelor of Laws (Makerere),
Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (LDC), Post Graduate Diploma in Women and Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School), Diploma in Law & Judicial Practice (LDC), Diploma in Law (LDC)
• Selected Certifications –
Training of Participatory Gender Audit Facilitators (UNDP), Genocide Prevention and Mass Atrocity crimes Prevention (The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation – Poland), Certificate in Jurisprudence of Equality Training in International Human Rights Law (NAWJ/Judicial Training Institute), Certificate in Judicial Reforms in Anglophone Africa (World Bank Institute/ ILI), Gender and Development (AKINA MAMA wa Africa), Advanced certificate in Security and Safety in the Field (UNDP), Peace-Building in War-Societies of Africa (CECORE), Project Planning and Management (IYECA/YMCA), Social Development (Uganda Catholic Social Training Center, Rubaga Kampala Uganda), Trainer of Trainers (The Institute for Inclusive Security- Virginia USA)
• Selected Recognitions:
Certificate of Achievement (Justice and Peace : The Hague Training Course for Human Rights Defenders on Security), Certificate of Excellence (Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS)/UNDP Dar es Salaam Tanzania), Award – Women Economic Forum (WEF 2017) Iconic Women Making the World a better Place May 2017 Mumbai India
• Selected Previous Assignments:
Secretary, Uganda National Committee for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and Mass Atrocities; Coordinator and Principal Investigator (P.I) for the IGAD Research on Inclusive Mechanisms; Consultant Mediator World Bank/ IFC/MIGA Compliance Advisory Ombudsman, Lecturer- Victoria University Kampala, Sawanee University- Tennessee, JF Kennedy School of Government – USA, Director Women Peace and Security: Regional Associates for Community Initiates, Senior Advisor Women, Peace and Security Governance – Center for Peace & Security Governance; Facilitator, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); Facilitator- the African Union (AU/ISSP) Addis University; International Consultant United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 UNIFEM/UN WOMEN, National Coordinator Advocates for Public International Law in Uganda; Programme Manager, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 Project CARE International In Uganda Northern Uganda Project; Associate Director, Center for Conflict Management and Peace Studies, Gulu University. (Seconded by ACORD under an MOU with Gulu University), Magistrate – Judicial Service Commission Uganda, etc)
• Selected Publications: Women’s Access to Land and Property in Uganda; International Conference Transitional Justice in Post Conflict Societies in Africa; Life skills training manual for training most vulnerable and excluded groups in self –confidence; A guide Book on Domestic Violence Marriage and Property Rights; Juvenile Justice in Armed Conflict Situations; Family Size and Law in Uganda; Xenophobia and the Post Conflict Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
FemWise the AU High Level Peace and Security Architecture; Secretary Ugandan National Committee for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocity (UNCP-GMA), The Global Action Against Mass Atrocities, Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE); The Association of Women Lawyers- Uganda (FIDA-U); Uganda Law Society; Uganda Catholic Lawyers Forum; International Civil Society Action Network(ICAN), Women Waging Peace ,Network (WWPN); Global Network of Women Peace Builders (GNWP) Africa; African Judicial Network (AJN); Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA); National Association of Women Judges of Uganda NAWJ; International Association of Women Judges IAWJ; Advocates for Public International Law Uganda, etc
Languages: English, Acholi, Lango, Alur, Lugbara, Luganda, Swahili
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