denis hamson obua biography

Who is Denis Hamson Obua? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, wife, family, Ajuri County, Lango tribe, relationship with Thomas Tayebwa, State Minister for Sports, early life and education of the current Government Chief Whip of the 11th Parliament of Uganda.

Denis Hamson Obua, is a Ugandan politician, who currently serves as the Government Chief Whip in the 11th Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, a position to which he was appointed on 21st July 2022.

He officially took over office on 16th August 2022. Prior to December 14, 2019, he was the Ugandan Cabinet’s Minister of State for Sports. 

In addition, he is now serving in the 11th Parliament (2021–2026) as the Member of Parliament for Ajuri County, Alebtong District, a position he also held in the 10th Parliament (2016 to 2021).

Early life and Education

hon denis hamson obua

Denis Hamson Obua was born on 6th February 1980 in Ajuri in present-day Alebtong District which was at the time part of Lira district in the Lango subregion of Northern Uganda. 

He is of the Lango tribe, a Luo-speaking people who are part of the greater Nilotic ethnic group spread across Northern Uganda. 

Obua attended Inomo Primary School for his primary education before transferring to Lango College in Lira, where he finished his O-Level and A-Level education. 

In 1997, he received his Uganda Certificate of Education and in 1999, he received his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Social Administration which he attained from Uganda Christian University and a Master of Public Administration which he earned in 2016 at Uganda Management Institute.

In addition to the aforementioned, he also holds a Diploma in Law and a Certificate in Administrative Law both of which he obtained from the Law Development Centre in Kampala.

Career and professional work experience

obua denis hamson tayebwa
Denis Hamson Obua takes over from Thomas Tayebwa.

Denis Hamson Obua has had a distinguished career in politics, having been first elected as the Youth MP for Northern Uganda in 2006 and then in succeeding elections as a Member of Parliament for Ajuri county in the Alebtong district under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party since 2011 to the present.

The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Committee on Science and Technology are two committees on which Hon. Obua Denis Hamson serves as a member.

Obua worked at British American Tobacco from 2000 to 2003 as a contracts clerk. He then worked at Atim and Company Advocates as a legal assistant for the following two years. 

He was then employed as a Senior Clerical Officer at the Office of the Vice President of Uganda, where he was in charge of legal duties from 2005 to 2006.

He was elected as a youth member of parliament to the 8th Parliament (2006–2011) in 2006, representing Northern Uganda. 

He proceeded to win the race for the seat of the then newly created Ajuri County in the 9th Parliament in 2011. He has maintained a stronghold in Ajuri, having been re-elected in 2016 and 2021.

On December 14, 2019, Denis Obua was appointed to the cabinet in a reorganization of the government, replacing Charles Bakkabulindi as Minister of State for Sports. 

On January 13, 2020, he took the oath of office as State Minister for Sports after receiving parliamentary approval. Obua was later selected to serve as the Government Chief Whip in Parliament replacing Thomas Tayebwa who was elevated to Deputy Speaker, and he assumed his new office on August 16, 2022.

Achievements and awards

Denis Hamson Obua served as Lira District Chairman in the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA), and later Chairman of the Youth Council.

In 2005, he presented a paper on the regional youth agenda thrilling all in the audience with his eloquence, but none more than then Vice President Gilbert Bukenya who upon spotting the potential of the young Obua, immediately gave him a job as Assistant Private Secretary and Senior Clerk in charge of legal duties in the Youth of the Office of the Vice President.

Denis Hamson Obua made history by becoming the youngest ever Commissioner of Parliament aged only 29 years in 2009

Mr Obua with President Museveni
Mr Obua with President Museveni

In 2010, he was named the best serving MP in the plenary with a 100% score in a survey by the African Leadership Institute.

Hon. Denis Hamson Obua has personally spearheaded many initiatives, some of which include support for the transportation and health sectors.

Obua complained it was shocking that the sports budget had decreased by more than half in just two years during the 2022–23 budget conference that the Ministry of Finance hosted at the Kololo Independence grounds.

He expressed dissatisfaction that sports had been included in the category of overseas travel which was the victim of budget cuts. 

Because the government views events like the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, All Africa Games, and other tournaments as international travel, the sports budget was classified as such, according to Obua.

The minister of sports argued that this was unfair because these initiatives tremendously benefited the nation and he wanted the minister of finance to ensure that funding for sports was raised.

In 2022 after he was appointed the Government Chief Whip, he agreed to serve as the Uganda Coffee Development Authority’s (UCDA) coffee ambassador for Northern Uganda. This was at a public function organised by UCDA. 

As a result, he will promote the cultivation of the cash crop in the area, which is not typically known for coffee farming.

Controversies 

While still serving as the Minister of State for Education and Sports, Denis Hamson Obua authorized an investigation into the Alebtong District Education Officer due to allegations of corruption in the early months of 2022. He gave the directives while overseeing the ministry’s disbursement of funding to the district.

The Acting DEO, Moses Olwit Ocen, who at the time was also the District Inspector of Schools, was found to have misappropriated thirty (30) million shillings intended for sports-related activities during the stakeholder meeting.

In a report, the Chief Administrative Officer, Simon Bimbona, failed to explain why the School Facility Grant (SFG), which was intended for the renovation of primary schools, was instead used to build a resource centre and renovate some secondary schools while the majority of primary schools were in a sorry state.

The DEO also failed to provide an explanation for the expenditure of 60.2 million shillings (out of an overall budget of 80.4) for nine (9) days between August 16 and August 25, 2021, for school inspections.

The meeting’s chairman, Obua, was not persuaded by the reports, which is why he asked the CID to launch an investigation into the DEO.

Obua went on to say that such corruption tendencies result in the district performing poorly, which is disappointing to him as a native of the district.

Elsewhere, Andrew Omunu, the Kwania District Education Officer, was detained by police at the direction of Hon. Denis Hamson Obua, the State Minister for Sports at the time, over allegations of improper use of Shillings 399 million intended for the building and equipping of Aduku Seed Secondary School.

This was a portion of the 1.7 billion Shillings that the government, with assistance from the World Bank and the UGIF project, disbursed during the 2018–19 fiscal year. 

To provide children from disadvantaged communities with a chance to attend school, the government had promised to create secondary schools in every sub-county across the nation.