Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi
Who is Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi?

Who Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, early life, Age, politics, and family of the current Vice President of Uganda.

His Excellency Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi is a Ugandan politician and lawyer who has been Vice President of Uganda since 24 May 2011, businessman, father and a husband. Before that, he served as the Speaker of Parliament of Uganda from 2001 to 2011. 

Also, he has served as Member of Parliament for Bukoto Central constituency, Masaka District since 1996 till date.

The member of the Rotary fraternity, Ssekandi boasts deep and good contacts and respect in two key institutions to the political balance – the Catholic Church and Mengo, the helm of the Buganda Kingdom.

Ssekandi is the member of the ruling NRM Political Party in Uganda. 

Early Life and Education Career

Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi was born in Masaka District on 19 January 1942 to late Alex Kiwanuka Majwega and Virgo Nabukalu Kiwanuka of Bulegeya village Kamuzinda. 

He attended Kabwooko Junior Secondary School from where he attained Junior Leaving Certificate in 1959. Ssekandi then joined Lubiri Secondary School from where he attained Cambridge School Certificate in 1963.

Ssekandi then joined St. Mary’s College Kisubi for his Secondary School graduating with a Cambridge High School Certificate in 1965, then the University of East Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Laws Degree in 1969. 

Ssekandi also holds a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre (LDC) in Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city obtained in 1970.

Ssekandi was appointed Uganda’s 9th Vice President
Edward Ssekandi was appointed Uganda’s 9th Vice President succeeding Hon Gilbert Bukenya.

Work and Experience

In 1969, Ssekandi was appointed State Attorney of Government of Uganda a position he held until 1973. Earlier in 1970, he was enrolled as an advocate of The High Court of Uganda.

From 1973 until 1978, he served as a lecturer at the Uganda Law Development Centre and later becoming a Principal Lecturer and Head of Department, Postgraduate Bar Course at LDC. 

A year later he went into private practice with the establishment of his law firm-Ssekandi and Company Advocates. Between 1978 and 1979, he served as the Acting Director of the Law Development Centre. 

Before joining active politics, from the period of 1982 to 1985, he was the Chancellor Namirembe Diocese. Ssekandi was the lead counsel on the Commission of Inquiry into Violation of Human Rights, between 1986 and 1993. 

Earlier from 1986 – 1992, Ssekandi was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Law Council Disciplinary Committee. Also from 1994-1996, he served as the Consultant Assembly Delegate at National Assembly.

In 1994 he was elected as a delegate, representing Bukoto Central in the Uganda Constitutional Assembly, which deliberated the 1995 Uganda Constitution, from 1994 until 1995.

Edward Ssekandi in 1996 contested for the Bukoto Central in Masaka District seat, which he won thus becoming a Member of Parliament. In the same year, he became the Chairperson of Rules, Privileges and Disciplinary Committee in Parliament. 

He was then later appointed the Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee until 1998.

He was re-elected from that constituency in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016, a position he still holds. 

After two years in Parliament, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi in September 1998 was elected Deputy Speaker of the 6th Parliament a position he held until July 2001, he was then voted as the Speaker of the 7th Parliament of Uganda until 2006.

In 2006, Ssekandi has re-elected Member of Parliament on NRM ticket and later in 2001 re-elected Speaker of the 8th Parliament a position he held for five years till 2011. He was then replaced by Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga who was then his Deputy, becoming the first Speaker of Parliament in Uganda’s history on 19 May 2011.

Between 2008 and 2010, Ssekandi served as the Chairperson African Parliamentary Union (APU). Also from 2010-2012, he served as the President PUIC/OIC of Parliaments of organization of Islamic Countries. This was at the time he served as the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda.

In May 2011 Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi was appointed Uganda’s 9th Vice President succeeding Hon Gilbert Bukenya, a position he held till date. He was replaced as Speaker by Rebecca Kadaga.

Membership to Professional bodies

  • Uganda Law Society full
  • East African Law Society full
Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi is the most wordless
Of all Museveni’s Vice Presidents, Ssekandi is the most wordless.

Personal Life and Religious Affiliation 

Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi is married to Margaret Ssekandi and together they have four children. He is Catholic Christian and a Muganda by Tribe. 

He is reported to be a sports enthusiast.

Of all Museveni’s Vice Presidents, Ssekandi is the most wordless. Despite all Museveni’s VPs being simply mouth and trousers, Ssekandi’s predecessors gave the job a performance that disguised their powerlessness.

Dr Samson Kisekka was as loud and pompous as he could get – bragging about the six degrees in his bedroom. Dr Specioza Kazibwe – perhaps the noisiest of them all – actually had a show on national radio where her unscripted ramblings were broadcast every Sunday.

And Prof Mahogany gave the listening and viewing audience much delight. 

VP Ssekandi is the diametric opposite of all his predecessors. He grants neither long nor short media interviews. He comments on nothing.

Ssekandi is quick to refer nosy journalists to the relevant ministries. He is not shy to feign or acknowledge ignorance of things – even as commonplace as Bobi Wine and the Arua violence.

There are two ways of reading Ssekandi’s choice to become the most silent senior politician in Uganda’s history. First is his profession as a lawyer.

It’s clear that our ‘learned friends’ never enter politics on the ground of some lofty ideals, such as democracy or Marxist or Marxist truisms, but power, money and fame. 

Lawyers see politics as an extension of their profession. As Marx observed, they earn their livelihood by crafting the interests of merchants into law – however grievous these laws could be to their compatriots. We could say that Ssekandi entered politics as a continuity of his hustle. But that is a small part.

Another thing is that Ssekandi fully appreciates the nature of our politics and the dilemma of speech in Museveni’s government. To defend the regime is to lose your head.

Yet to keep your head and speak your mind is to lose your place and be branded a rebel. The NRM has plenty of rebels – many with broken bones and hearts, and others bankrupted.

With his resume of a seasoned Kampala advocate and former Speaker of Parliament, surely Ssekandi has seen and knows enough than many Ugandans. His genius is in understanding the time and choosing to be a silent clown.  

Journalists who have covered Ssekandi in Parliament and MPs he has described him as calm and composed, reflective but too willing to do the bidding of his party the ruling NRM. Whether he will stand up to mark himself out of the shadow of his boss, the President remains to be seen.

Kiwanuka Ssekandi is Catholic Christian Muganda by Tribe
Kiwanuka Ssekandi is Catholic Christian and a Muganda by Tribe.

Ssekandi attributes his success to his late mother

VP Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi attributes his successes in life to his late mother, Virgo Nabukalu Kiwanuka who, according to him, always offered guidance and urged him to recite the Holy Rosary whenever faced with challenges.

The Ugandan leader adds that his mother emphasized to all her children about the importance of protecting their integrity as well as the family name, which virtues have been pivoted in his life.

Ssekandi made the remarks in 2016 while speaking at an event to celebrate 100 years of his mother, Nabukalu Virgo Kiwanuka’s life, at Stallion Hotel in Busega.

The function was preceded by a Holy Mass led by Rev. Fr. Joseph Kimbugwe of Busega Catholic Parish Church.

The VP thanked God for the continued life of his mother who has seen fourth-generation of grand-children and also paid gratitude to the doctors and nurses who have played a significant role in keeping his elderly mother healthy.

Ssekandi also thanked his family members, especially the grandchildren, for organizing the event, which was a great honour for their grandmother.

Close family friends led by Bukoto East MP Nsubuga Birekerawo hailed Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi for his humility, which they attributed to his unique upbringing by his mother.

Rev. Father Joseph Kimbugwe said that it is biblical to mark anniversaries and thank God for the gift of life. 

He said that people in advanced age must be treated cautiously since they have short tempers like for children and could end up annoying the people who tend to them.