Who is Charles Rwomushana? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, early life, politics, education and family of a Ugandan politician.
Charles Rwomushana is a Ugandan politician, political commentator, security commentator, former intelligence operatives, former Guild President Makerere University, former RDC Pader District and former head of Economics and Research at Internal Security Organization (ISO).
Early Life and Education
Charles Rwomushana was born to Winnie Safira Tumubwine and Joseph Rwakinwa (RIP) at Kahoko village, Nyakagyeme Sub-County in Rukungiri District. He is one of his parent’s many children.
He was named Charles after a one Charles Sonko, a guitarist who played a welcoming song after his birth in the bush. Rwomushana was said to be a bright boy.
Rwomushana recalls that although he should have been Anglican, he was baptized Catholic in a hurried process because there were a cholera outbreak and a fear of dying without the First Holy Sacrament.
Rwomushana attended Bugangari Primary School then Bugangari Secondary School in Rukungiri District. Rwomushana proved to be a determined student when he joined Bugangari Secondary School in 1985.
While many of his peers opted to go to Rwenshama, a famous village around Lake Edward to make money through fishing, Rwomushana was not persuaded by the lucrative businesses that blinded many of his friends then.
It was at Bugangari that Rwomushana first showed interest in politics when he convinced students to elect him their head prefect. In his manifesto, while campaigning for the head prefect post, Rwomushana promised to improve the students’ diet.
At the time, students of Bugangari, a mixed Ordinary-Level secondary school, only had a cup of sugarless porridge for lunch, and yet Kashenyi Secondary School in the neighbouring Ruhinda Sub-county, a school started almost at the same time as Bugangari, was feeding their students on posho and beans for lunch. “Rwomushana questioned why Bugangari could not also have posho and beans”.
Later, Rwomushana joined Mbarara High School because the school always engaged in student fights with Ntare School so, he wanted to take part in the next school war.
One day, while in Senior Five at Mbarara High School in 1989, Senior Four students were making noise from a building adjacent to where Rwomushana and others were reading.
The combative Rwomushana decided to confront the rowdy students, instead of approaching school authorities. Insults were exchanged and in a flash, the Senior Four students went wild. They threatened to lynch Rwomushana, but he was quick to escape and hid for about a week.
The Revolutionary Rwomushana
From his humble background, Rwomushana seemed to have learnt how to engage people in power. This was the time Rwomushana was elected guild president a year later. The association was among the first of its kind in Uganda and catapulted Rwomushana into the guild presidency in 1992.
Meanwhile, at the time Charles Rwomushana became guild president, the university used to offer the guild president an international trip.
During his one year tenure, 1992/93, Rwomushana claimed the money to go to a university students’ conference in Canada, but he did not go.
When the university administration quizzed him on the accountability, Rwomushana said he used the money to buy a car which was more important to the students’ guild than going to an international conference.
Charles Rwomushana has often been named a controversial political analyst for his contentious remarks and analysis of political issues in the country.
Rwomushana recalls mobilizing about 100 very young boys about his age and training them in military formation. At the time, his home was near a landing site in Rukungiri district and by the time Tanzanian forces extended to the area, they found the young boys ready in military formation.
He recalls one of the children was shot as the soldiers battled hippos that had come to rescue their mate.
That was before Rwomushana even started Primary one. His political ambitions kept growing and Rwomushana campaigned to represent Rujumbura constituency in Rukungiri District in the 1994 Constituent Assembly race.
During the CA, which made the 1995 Constitution, Rwomushana proved to be a good legislator. Rwomushana known as ‘Ka boy’ in the Rujumbura race lost to Muhwezi after a violent election.
In early 2000, Nelson Ocheger expelled Rwomushana from his Action for Restoration Democracy political pressure group, and in January 2001 Rwomushana was appointed Resident District Commissioner of Pader District in northern Uganda.
Becoming a spy
In November 2001, Rwomushana was redeployed to head the Political Intelligence Desk in the President’s Office under the Internal Security Organization. In September 2008, President Museveni relieved him of his duties.
However, speaking to the media, Rwomushana insisted that he had resigned. Members of PAFO, who included the late Eriya Kategaya, Amanya Mushega, Augustine Ruzindana, Mathew Rukikaire and Richard Kaijuka, were opposed to the amendment of the Constitution to allow President Museveni run for a third term.
President Museveni appointed him DRC for Pader district after which he was deployed back to State House. Rwomushana was in charge of political issues that would culminate into overthrowing of the constitution as well as monitoring government systems.
Charles Rwomushana announces presidential bid
Controversial political and security commentator, Charles Rwomushana joined the list of candidates to vie for the presidential seat in the forthcoming 2021 general elections.
Rwomushana, through his lawyers of Mujurizi, Alinaitwe and Byamukama Company Advocates wrote seeking permission to carry out consultations. “We act for and on behalf of our client, Charles Rwomushana, a presidential aspirant in the forthcoming presidential elections schedule for 2021”.
In the letter, Rwomushana’s lawyers asked the Electoral Commission chairperson to allow him to start his consultative meetings and that he will notify the relevant local council authorities and police of the area where he wants to consult voters.
Rwomushana to Mwenda
Renowned political commentator Charles Rwomushana recently told veteran journalist and proprietor of the Independent Magazine Andrew Mwenda to keep his mouth shut when it comes to matters of Makerere University because he was once more vulnerable than the protesting students he is attacking now.
Rwomushana wondered why Mr. Mwenda, whom he said was a beneficiary of government sponsorship, should oppose students and side with the state. “Andrew Mwenda is a beneficiary of paid for education. We’re discussing whether the idea of introducing tuition in public university is needed. Parents take their children through school knowing the government will get through university”.
He convinced the government to provide Shs10 million as a pilot project to help students. For this cause, the students named him “chairman of the needy students” something that grew his popularity at the university. This followed the recent 2019 three-day strike by the Makerere students over the 15 per cent tuition fees increment.
“Students at Makerere University have an exaggerated sense of entitlement. ” Students at private universities in Uganda like UCU and Nkozi pay much more fees and get much less in education than Makerere but we don’t see hear them striking over high fees,” he said in a tweet.
On the matters of Police and army brutalizing students, Mwenda said even in democratic countries such strikes happen and people die but in Makerere, no student was killed. “What is the death toll at Makerere?” He added.
” A State provoked by children is a hooligan State,” Rwomushana noted. Rwomushana added that the strikes at Makerere are being fueled by politics. “There’s so much politics from both the NRM politicians and opposition who want to get a political divided.”
If you were not a student under Museveni’s regime, I’m sure you would have dropped out of school, said Rwomushana. I was with you at Makerere University and I’m sure you didn’t pay a penny.
Rwomushana shames Ondongtho on NBS TV
On an NBS TV’s political talk show “The Frontline” Rwomushana shamed his host by declaring it to the world that he failed pre-entry exams to the Law Development Centre.
Rwomushana was a guest panellist on the talk show hosted by Charles Ondongtho, a former law student at Makerere University. Explaining government inefficiency in education, Rwomushana wondered why someone who already has a degree in Law would be subjected to a pre-entry for a diploma in Legal Practice.
“Can you imagine?” Rwomushana wondered. “Can you imagine?” Rwomushana said as Democratic Party President General Norbert Mao burst out in uncontrollable laughter.
Rwomushana trolls UCU over tuition
In 2019, the former Intelligence Operative Charles Rwomushana slammed Uganda Christianity University for exorbitantly charging students.
In a statement on social media, Rwomushana accused the Anglican church-run Institution of stealing from the poor people. “It’s an absolute outrage because education is a right’ and that such actions mean that students from poorer backgrounds will shy away from higher education, to their and the country’ detriment”.
UCU is one of the institutions providing quality education to the student’s but the University often comes in news for charging exorbitant tuition fees.
Rwomushana claimed that the University is stealing from the poor people in the name of offering sound education, saying that it must be regulated.
“The private ones offering a sensitive public service like health, education, power, and telecommunication should be regulated,” he noted.
On July 29, 2020, at around 1 am in Kamwokya Charles Rwomushana got arrested for disobedience of presidential directives and violation of curfew charges as one of the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Rwomushana was found driving past curfew hours as he left NBS Television, where he was hosted on a talk show programme the frontline. While in the courtroom, Rwomushana denied one count of disobedience of lawful orders, he then presented two sureties as a guarantee that will honour bail if released from custody.
In 2016, Rwomushana got arrested and was charged with criminal defamation/libel, spreading sectarianism through the media and instigating violence.
Rwomushana on ‘United Forces of Change’ Alliance
Political analyst Charles Rwomushana earlier defended the Uganda People’s Congress conspicuous absence from the United Forces of Change launch.
On June 15, 2020, political heavyweights Dr Kizza Besigye of the People’s Government and People Power’s Robert Kyagulanyi agreed to combine efforts in unseating President Museveni.
“UPC is a political grouping no doubt about that”. ” Because it should be on the ground as a structure and those decisions are taken at the level of delegates conferences,” Rwomushana reasoned.
“They could have voted Besigye because they wanted Museveni to go,” Rwomushana argued. ” Even then, he disclosed that it would be wrong to conclude that Jimmy Akena’s political organization is failing opposition efforts while it has advocated for unity in the past citing the 1996 Presidential Elections.