By Spy Uganda
Kabarole: As the 2021 general elections gain momentum in Kabarole district, especially the Woman Parliamentary race, key political players have declared to unseat the current leaders. History may be rewritten soon after the granddaughter of the first African Anglican Bishop in the East, Central and Southern Africa, Bishop Abel Kakyomya Balya’s decided to take up the mantle for the Woman MP from the usual old guards. But this time round, honestly,time seems not to be on their side.
The current information on our desk is that senior UPDF Officer and NRA historical Brig.Gen. Ambassador Ronnie Balya Ateenyi’s eldest daughter, Beatrice Balya Karungi Amooti, has officially entered the Kabarole District woman MP race. This comes after she picked the nomination forms from NRM’s electoral commission offices in Kampala, and was duly nominated on Tuesday 11 August 2020, to go through the primaries. This seat has been occupied by Hon.Sylvia Rwabwogo aka Akanyana, who will now remain in the newly created Fort Portal Tourism City, where she is again contesting as Woman MP for her second term.
Beatrice Balya who is ready to compete on NRM ticket, picked nomination forms from the Party headquarters on plot 10, Kyadondo Road after the Party’s Electoral Commission led by Dr.Tanga Odoi successfully verified her academic and other credentials and gave her the green light to contest in the primaries.
Beatrice, in an interview with our reporter, asserted that she is contesting not to just enjoy the luxurious privileges of being a legislator but to re-energize and revive the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable people in Kabarole District.
“I’m contesting not to just enjoy parliamentary privileges as is the norm with some of our current leaders, those ones (privileges) I have grown in them, being a child to my loving dad, instead I’m to focus so much on improving livelihoods of the poor in my district” she asserted.
Beatrice added thus; “I’m a person who has grown up in Kabarole and at least i know the problems that have been affecting my people. I believe no one else can solve them other than me and my voters. We have trusted a couple of leaders and voted for them but all they do is just chop government’s money and forget to serve those who voted them. It’s high time Kabarole people saw new leadership. A leadership spiritually guided by my iconic grandfather, late Bishop Abel Balya, whose leadership was people centered. A leadership whose role model is a man who ably led his people from Komamboga Zaire to Kenya. From Khartoum Sudan to Tanzania, to Kigali Rwanda and the entire Africa, when he took the mantle as the first African Anglican Bishop in the whole of East, Central and Southern African. That’s the leadership we’ve been missing. But also my Dad’s leadership (Brig.Gen.Ronnie Balya) since the days of the NRA struggle in the bush is self explanatory, those are the ideals I want to uphold. So I have those key guiding principals in my leadership career that I have accepted to take on from today, resigning from my juicy jobs in Government.
The Kabarole Woman MP race has so far attracted a number of other contenders who include; Kemigisa Margret, Sala Teopista Kamurasi, Asiimwe Immaculate, Victoria Businge Rusoke.
Who Is Beatrice Karungi Balya?
Balya is very passionate about Human well-being, Infrastructure Development and so posses with Excellent Output(Excellent Service Delivery). She is a business woman,Education enthusiast, currently pursuing a Master’s degree. She’s a qualified systems programmer and auditor with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and a diploma in electrical engineering.
Until recently when she resigned her juicy job to join the race, Balya has been working with Ministry of Energy and mineral Development as an internal auditor, attached to Rural Electrification Agency (REA) as its Internal auditor.
Beatrice was also a systems programmer at the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA). She also previously worked with Orient Bank as Relationship Manager before switching to Gov’t.
The budding brainy but soft-spoken sexy-oozing beauty from Tooro region also attained a professional Certificate in Business and Management at St Lawrence University Horizon Campus.
She attained her Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) from Kyebambe Girls S.S in Fort Portal.
Who Is Gen.Ronnie Balya Her Dad?
Ronnie Balya is an officer at the rank of Brigadier General in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). He is Uganda’s ambassador to South Sudan, based in Juba.
Balya, son of late Arch. Bishop Balya, was born 1961 in Kabarole District in Toro sub-region, Western Region of Uganda. He studied at Makerere University, graduating with a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree.
He continued with his studies at University of Nairobi, Kenya where he earned a master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Studies.
Brig.Gen. Balya was selected by the Commander in Chief to attend a strategic command and leadership course at the National Defence College in Nairobi, Kenya where he excelled. He has done various intelligence courses in Russia, America and Britain.
He joined the National Resistance Army in 1985. He served initially as a district internal security officer in Northern Uganda and Western Uganda.
In 1997, Brig. Balya was moved to headquarters where he served in various capacities like director of the ISO inspectorate, director analysis and director technical intelligence. In August 2006, Balya was appointed deputy director general of Internal Security Organizations (ISO).
On July 27, 2010, Balya was appointed full Director General ISO, replacing Amos Makumbi who was given another appointment in government. In December 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel. In February 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier.
In addition to his duties at ISO, he served as the chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee [brings together all the Intelligence Agencies] and as the secretary to the National Security Council [Chaired by the President and composed of Ministers and Security Chiefs that handle National Defence and Security matters] . In July 2016, he told the Ugandan cabinet during a retreat in Kyankwanzi District that “corruption was killing government”.
Bishop Abel Balya’s Full profile:
Bishop Abel Kakyomya Balya is the 1st African Anglican Bishop in East, Central, and Southern Africa in history.
He was born in 1877 in Rwahunga village, Kyaka County in the present day Kyegegwa District of Tooro Kingdom. The young Balya joined his father in Omukama Kabalega’s army, the ‘Abarusura‘, to fight against the British colonialists until Bunyoro’s victory in 1899.
Balya is remembered for his dedication to missionary work. He was baptized in 1901 and later confirmed. After learning how to read and write, he was later selected by missionaries to teach in the Kabarole mixed school.
Balya’s real calling to Christian ministry came in 1903 when he was sent to Kyaka Nyakabimba to preach the gospel and later to Ankole. He was later in 1907 posted to Mboga-Zaire, present-day Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In 1910, Balya was among the four priests who translated the Bible into Runyoro-Rutooro. In 1914, Balya was sent to Namirembe for further studies and then to Bishop Tucker Theological College, Mukono four years later. He became a deacon in 1918. In 1921 he was posted to Rwengoma as vicar. While there, Balya extended his operations to Bukonjo, Bwamba, and Butuku/Ntoroko in present-day Kasese and Bundibugyo districts.
In 1931, Balya was made the Canon of Namirembe Cathedral, a difficult position to attain back then. All this while, Reverend Balya worked tirelessly to build St. John’s Cathedral Kabarole which opened in 1939.
In 1947, Balya was appointed bishop by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the advice of Bishop Stuart who was bishop of Uganda then. He was enthroned as the first African Anglican Bishop in East, Central and Southern Africa. He also received a medal, the order of the British Empire (O.B.E), from the Queen of England.
Many places and institutions in the Tooro have been named after him in remembrance of his contribution to education and religion. They include Bishop Balya Theological College-Bukuku, Kabarole district, Bishop Balya Parish Church-Bunyonyi, Kabarole district, Bishop Balya Girls Secondary School in Kamwenge district, Bishop Balya Memorial Social hall in Kyenjojo district, Balya road in Fort Portal, Balya house in Nyakasura School among others.
Balya died in 1979 at the age of 102 years and was buried at St. John’s Cathedral in Fort Portal. Bishop Balya’s statue which stands in the centre of Fort Portal town remains popular with British tourists and residents.
Those close to Brig.Gen.Ronnie Balya, his son say he has always emulated his father in all his works. Now, this is the legacy his grand daughter Beatrice Balya Karungi wants to champion.