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Crispus Kiyonga

Who is Crispus Walter Kiyonga? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, wife, family, tribe, relationship with Alice Namugenyi Kiyonga, the late Samora Machel Asingya, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, early life and education of the former Uganda’s ambassador to China.

Crispus Kiyonga, also known as Crispus Walter Kiyonga is a Ugandan physician, politician, and diplomat. He is also a famous commercial farmer in Kasese District.

He formerly served as Uganda’s ambassador to China, based in Beijing.

From 2006 to 2016, he served as Uganda’s Minister of Defence in the Ugandan Cabinet for two terms. Kiyonga is a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party.

Early life and Education

Crispus Kiyonga was born on January 1, 1952, in Kasese District, Uganda’s Western Region.

He is married to Alice Namugenyi Kiyonga and the father of the late Samora Machel Asingya who allegedly committed suicide in 2011.

For his primary education, Crispus attended Bwera Primary School in Bwera, a few kilometres from Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, from 1959 to 1966.

And then for his O’level studies, he attended Nyakasura School from 1967 to 1970. From 1971 to 1972, Crispus studied for his A’level at Kings College Budo.

He attended Makerere University School of Medicine from 1973 to 1978, earning his first medical degree, a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 1978.

Later, in 2004, he graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with a Master of Health Science (MHS) in Population Dynamics.

Career and Professional Work Experience

career achievements crispus kiyonga

Kiyonga started his political career when he ran as a candidate on the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) platform in the first post-Idi Amin national elections in Uganda in 1980. He was the only UPM candidate to win in his constituency during those elections.

From 1980 to 2016, he represented Bukonjo County West in the Ugandan Parliament.

From 1981 to 1986, he changed and became a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which was fighting the second Milton Obote regime by then.

Crispus Kiyonga held several cabinet and non-cabinet positions in the Ugandan government from 1986, when NRM took over power, until 2006 when he was appointed Minister of Defence.

In 1986, he was appointed as Cooperatives and Marketing Minister. And from 1986 to 1992, he was the Minister of Finance; responsible for the establishment of the Uganda Revenue Authority.

Kiyonga temporarily left the government between 1992 and 1994 to work as a consultant for the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

In 1994, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Uganda Constitution of 1995 before he returned to active politics. Kiyonga Crispus served as Minister of Internal Affairs from 1994 to 1996.

And from 1996 to 2001, he was Minister of Health. He was credited with handling the Ebola outbreak in Gulu in 2000 efficiently. 

From 2001 to 2006, he served as Minister without Portfolio in the President’s Office as well as the National Political Commissar.

After serving as the Minister for Defence, Kiyonga was appointed Uganda’s Ambassador to China in 2016.

Achievements and Awards

In 2001, Dr Crispus Kiyonga was appointed chairman of the Transitional Working Group for the establishment of the Global AIDS and Health Fund 2001.

Dr Kiyonga is well-known regionally and internationally as a champion of HIV/AIDS, malaria, Ebola and tuberculosis efforts (TB).


crispus walter kiyonga biography

In 2011, Dr Crispus Kiyonga’s son, Samora Machel Asingya who was 23 years old by then was found dead at Mweya Safari Lodge having hanged himself with a rope. This happened when the family had gone to Queen Elizabeth National Park for new-year celebrations.

Kiyonga blamed himself for his son’s death attributing it to the less time and attention he was giving him despite knowing that he was a drug addict and he had absconded from medical school in Australia.

In 2016, Dr Kiyonga spoke out about the Rwenzori sub-region conflict, saying the clashes that resulted in more than 60 deaths were “inevitable.” He blamed “political and cultural opportunists” for the region’s deteriorating security situation.

Dr Crispus Kiyonga attributed the 2016 Kasese clashes to Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, who in his opinion would have prevented them if he had kept his promise to the president to disarm the royal guards.

Kiyonga claimed that Omusinga made the promise to dissolve the royal guards in a meeting with the president as early as April. Mumbere however instead hired and armed extra royal guards six months later.

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