mary busingye karooro okurut
Who is Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut?

Who is Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut? Flash Uganda Media looks at her biography, age, husband, family, tribe, relationship with Stanislaus Okurut, Annet Katusiime Mugisha, Dr Eng. Silver Mugisha, Bushenyi District, early life and education of the current Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs in Uganda.

Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut is a politician, author, and educator from Uganda. She is the current Senior Presidential Advisor on Public relations. 

Okurut is the former Cabinet Minister in charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister. Previously, she was the Cabinet Minister for National Security and before that the Minister of Gender and Social Issues in the Ugandan cabinet. 

Mary Karooro Okurut is also the former Bushenyi District’s Women Member of Parliament, a position she held from 2004 after Bernadette Bigirwa died up to 2020 serving for three solid terms.

Early Life and Education

Mary Karooro Okurut was born on December 8, 1954, in Bushenyi District, Uganda.

She was married to Hon. Stanislaus Okurut until April 5, 2014, when he passed away. Together, they had eight kids: five boys and three girls.

Okurut is religiously affiliated with the Protestant faith.

She received her primary school education at Bweranyangi Primary School and O’level at Bweranyangi Girls’ Senior Secondary School. She then proceeded to attain her high school studies at Trinity College Nabbingo in 1972 at the age of 18 years.

Okurut enrolled at Makerere University in 1974 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature (BA.Lit) in 1977. She received her Master of Arts in Literature (MA.Lit) degree from Makerere University three years later, in 1981. 

She later added a Diploma in Education (Dip. Ed) in 1982 from the same institution.

Career and Professional Work Experience

mary karooro okurut biography

After earning her Master’s degree, Mary Karooro Okurut started teaching in the department of literature at Makerere in 1981. She continued to hold the position of Lecturer until 1993.

From 1994 until 1996, she started working as the Press Secretary for the Vice President of Uganda. 

She worked for the Ugandan Ministry of Education from 1996 to 1999 as Commissioner of the Education Service Commission. And from 1999 until 2004, she held the position of Press Secretary in the Presidential office.

Okurut began running for office as a National Resistance Movement candidate in 2004 for the Bushenyi District Women’s Constituency. 

She was elected and continued to serve as Bushenyi’s woman representative in the Ugandan Parliament until the 2021 General elections when she was defeated by Annet Katusiime Mugisha in the 2020 NRM party flag bearer primaries.

From May 2011 to May 2013, when she was transferred to her present docket, she served as Minister of Information and National Guidance. 

In 2012, Okurut was appointed to the Ugandan Cabinet as the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development replacing Syda Bumba, who left the Cabinet. She served in the position from 2012 until 2015. 

She was then appointed as the National Security Minister in the Ugandan cabinet on March 1st, 2015, during a Cabinet reshuffle taking the place of Wilson Muruli Mukasa, who had been named Minister of Gender and Social Issues. She served in that position from March 1, 2015, to June 6, 2016. 

On June 6, 2016, she was appointed to serve as Cabinet Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister. 

In July 2021, Okurut was appointed by President Museveni as the Senior Presidential Advisor on Public relations. And she is currently serving in this position.

Achievements and Awards

Before entering politics, Mary Karooro Okurut was perhaps best known for her literary contributions to Ugandan literature and for founding the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE). 

This association has since drawn attention from around the world and has produced one Caine Prize winner, Arach Monica de Nyeko, whose story “Jambula Tree” won in 2007.

The books “The Invisible Weevil” (1998) (ISBN 9789970901029) and “The Official Wife” are among Karooro Okurut’s literary works (ISBN 9789970024018). She also edited “A Woman’s Voice,” a collection of short stories by Ugandan women writers, which was published in 1998 (ISBN 9789970901036).

She has also published children’s books and is a playwright.

Mary Okurut is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Valley University of Science and Technology in Bushenyi, Uganda.

Controversies

After being defeated by Annet Katusiime Mugisha in the 2020 NRM Primaries, Mary Karooro Okurut was accused of making wild accusations against National Water & Sewerage Cooperation which was under the stewardship of Dr Eng. Silver Mugisha, the husband of Annet Katusiime

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