Who is Fred Mukasa Mbidde?: Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, family, wife, tribe, Anti-Homosexuality Bill, work and experience, political career, early life and education of the current elected member of the 3rd East African Legislative (EALA), representing Uganda.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde is a Ugandan lawyer, politician, human-rights activist, mass communication specialist, motivational speaker, businessman and philanthropist.
Mbidde is an elected member of the 3rd East African Legislative (EALA), representing the Republic of Uganda and has been in office since 2012 till date and the Vice President of the Democratic Party (DP).
He first gained prominence in 2001 while serving as the Guild President for Makerere University while in 2007; Mbidde significantly participated in the demonstrations intended to save Mabira Forest from being sold to private companies.
More that, Mbidde played a noteworthy role in the 1994 liberation war of Rwanda and he is the reigning attorney general for Kooki chiefdom and the Director Mbidde Foundation.
Early Life and Education
Fred Mukasa Mbidde was born on 15 October 1973 in Masaka District to the late Emmanuel Mbidde, a former headmaster and Ms Mary Kintu, a retired teacher. Mbidde is the second born child of his mother and some of his siblings include; Henry Mbidde and Balaam Mbidde who are lecturers at Makerere University.
His father was a pure African man who had many women and children, for this reason, Mbidde grew up with his mother and could only visit him during holidays. Mbidde describes his mother as a loving and caring mother.
Hon Mbidde attended Nakyenyi Primary School in Lwengo District before it was curbed out of Masaka District, a school where his mother taught, for his primary education.
After he joined Kabwoko High School for his middle school education, then later Masuliita Boarding School and Kampala High School from where he completed both O’ & A’ education.
After secondary school, Mbidde was admitted to Makerere University from where he attained a Degree in Mass-Communication in the year 2003. Following his Bachelor’s degree, Mbidde proceeded with school and in 2009 he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB).
In 2010, the Law Development Centre (LDC) Kampala awarded Mbidde with a postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip. Leg. Pract).
Additionally, in 2005 Mbidde received some leadership training at the Norwegian School of Leadership and Theology (HLT).
In 2014, Mbidde was engaged in legal Practice in Sub-regional Courts at the Mandela Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.
Hon Mbidde in the 1990s as well attended some military training and participated significantly in the 1994 Rwandan Liberation War. He fought along with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in 1999 before joining Makerere University.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde entered politics in 1999 as a member of the junior wing of the Democratic Party (DP), the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD).
Mbidde who was attending school at Makerere University at the time served as the deputy treasurer for the party and secretary for Students’ Affairs.
In 2001, Mbidde engaged in the Makerere University guild presidency elections on the UYD ticket and won the race in all polling stations basing on many reasons.
Mbidde is branded as one of the most noteworthy guild presidents of the 2000s, he advocated for sponsorship of all female students with the automatic addition of 1.5 bonus points to every girl student upon admission to the university which went successful.
As a result, a balance between the number of girls admitted to Makerere University and that of boys who were the overwhelming majority before then emerged.
Mbidde also advocated for and succeeded in the creation of the Makerere University ICT Institute and successfully acquired the necessary funding from Norway Government. During Mbidde’s reign, there were no strikes because of his excellent negotiation skills whenever there was a strike scare.
Mbidde created the Ministry for Private Students Affairs to handle the issues of the then neglected privately sponsored academicians.
Privately sponsored students by then were considered second class scholars and were denied privileges enjoyed by government-sponsored students. So, his efforts altered this perception positively.
Mbidde improved the security situation at the university by advocating for and succeeding in the removal of old fashioned hall of residence guards who were then using bows and arrows and replaced them with the current Makerere University Army that uses guns and wears green uniforms, the colour of his political party, alongside creating a perimeter wall fence around the university campus.
Mbidde as well worked upon the university sanitation issue replacing the then smelly and neglected gigantic garbage heap that existed between Makerere University School of Law and CCE Complex girls Hall with the now-famous Club Five, a student recreation facility at the university.
The gigantic garbage heap had become a home for madmen, drunkards and rapists.
Mukasa Mbidde additionally initiated the annual Japan-Uganda Students Conference held at Makerere University among others.
As the guild president of the oldest university in the country, Mbidde was given the title of Otak Olwenyi (meaning fighter) and the name Okello by the Acholi Makerere University Students Association (AMUSA) and the Acholi Sub-region elders.
Mbidde as well-received Japanese Recognition Awards from Chiba University (ACYPL) award, an accolade is given to young political leaders annually by the American Council.
In 2005, after his guild presidency, Mbidde became the National UYD Vice President and in 2006, he became the National Deputy Campaigning Director for the senior wing of DP deputizing Norbert Mao, currently DP president.
In 2007, Mbidde engaged in the parliamentary by-elections race for Kalungu East County, Masaka District before it turned Kalungu District but lost in controversial circumstances. However, Mbidde till today blames President Yoweri Museveni for the loss because of his involvement in the campaigns.
Again in the 2011 parliamentary elections, Mbidde contested for the same post in the constituency but lost and conceded the loss this time.
Following his 2011 election loss, Mukasa Mbidde identified loopholes in Uganda’s East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) representation which then favoured the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), sought court redress and lobbied for the inclusion of more opposition party members.
Mbidde succeeded and was voted into EALA on the DP ticket in 2012. He has since served EALA committees that include; the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investments, the Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges and the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution.
He’s the chairperson of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investments. He also heads the subcommittee on the legal board and the head of East African Sub-regional human rights practitioners.
Mukasa Mbidde is a philanthropist in Uganda and has sponsored elections of some members of parliament in Uganda. He is also a co-sponsor of the activities of DP as well as the Catholic Church in Uganda.
Mbidde is so passionate about boxing and has sponsored many boxing clubs in Uganda. Additionally, Mbidde being a lawyer has often offered pro bono litigation to indigent clients as well as assist Diaspora members as far as land matters are concerned.
Mbidde also co-sponsored the construction of a newly erected Kabaka monument at the historical Kabaka Njagala road junction in Mengo with KCCA and received recognition from KCCA.
In all this, Mbidde’s political journey began while in High School, he served as the chairman debating council and a prefect.
Work and Experience
Fred Mukasa Mbidde began working during his S.4 vacation as a newspaper vendor and by S.5 he had saved enough money to buy his first car a Toyota Carina.
Currently, Mbidde is a practising attorney. He has been in practice since 2011 and is a member of the Uganda Law Society (ULS), the East African Law Society (EALS), the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and the Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and People’s Rights (African Court Coalition).
Mbidde is a visiting lecturer at Soka University, Chiba University and Kyoritsu Women’s University in Japan. He is a consultant for Kenya Human Rights Commission in Freedom of Movement specializing in the law of Treaties, Corporate Financing, Mergers and Acquisitions, Conveyancing and Trademarks.
Mbidde runs a private law firm in the names of Mbidde & C Advocates and the patron Mbidde Foundation a legal based NGO. Most times, Mbidde has joint instructions on high profile cases with Justin Semuyaba of Semuyaba Yiga &Co Advocates.
Also, Mbidde has been the brain behind most cases filed by DP, because he’s the Chief Legal Advisor of the party. Of late, Mbidde’s legal practice has been inclined to Sub-regional courts especially the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
Mbidde who was riotous in high school ran a weekly newspaper called The Observer where he attacked the appalling school meals using colourful language which sometimes led students into violent demonstrations.
Besides his career, Mbidde is a businessman running businesses like a Forex Bureau since 1999 till date, a Radio Station based in Rwanda, a law firm “Mbidde & Co Advocates” since 2011 till date, the Mbidde Foundation with its headquarters based in Nagoya, Japan.
Mbidde has many friends in Japan who have supported Mbidde Foundation programmes over the years and the Financial Times Newspaper (1999-2000), he closed it down because Ugandans were not interested in reading economic literature.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde has been involved in many controversies ranging from his fighting in the 1990s with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) of the current Rwandan President Kagame in the 1990s to his support of Margaret Zziwa, the former EALA Speaker.
Mbidde after losing the 2007 Kalungu East parliamentary by-elections allegedly accused President Museveni of being the master minder of the vote-rigging to fail him.
This to Mbidde was a punishment by President Yoweri Museveni following his participation in the 2007 Save Mabira demonstrations that happened in Kampala the capital city of Uganda.
In another set of controversies, Mbidde supported Norbert Mao a non Muganda for the DP presidency and he made sure that Mao becomes the DP President. DP is a Buganda and Catholic-based political party in Uganda which according to many should be led by a Muganda.
Mbidde’s election to EALA in 2012 was also controversial in the opposition political parties because of various strategic disagreements which led to the exclusion of the Forum for Democratic Party (FDC), the largest opposition party in Uganda’s parliament by then.
In Jan 2013, Mbidde vowed to petition EALA Assembly to announce President Museveni’s actions in Uganda incompatible after clashing with parliament. This is after Museveni botched investigations into the death of Butaleja Woman legislator Cerinah Nebanda who died under mysterious circumstances on December 20, 2012.
While in June 2013, Mbidde attempted to stop the inclusion of South Sudan into the East African Community (EAC). He had accused S. Sudan of failing to adhere to his plea in line with the murder of innocent Ugandans which according to him cannot go unchallenged.
In March 2014, Mbidde petitioned the East African Court of Justice seeking orders to stop anybody from drafting a motion to censure Margaret Zziwa, the then Speaker of EALA a case he won.
In March 2015, the EALA Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment chaired by Mbidde passed a bill eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers, the EAC Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Bill, 2015.
Also, during the 2020, general elections, Mbidde supported Hon Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine the National Unity Platform (NUP) leader for presidency leaving out Norbert Mao of DP, a party he belongs to.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde was married to Susan Namaganda the former Woman MP for Bukomansimbi District, with whom he had three children.
Namaganda lost her life shortly after a tragic road accident that happened in Mpigi along Masaka Highway in 2015. Mbidde is also a father to Gabrielle Mbidde.
Mbidde is currently married to a lady named Fiona a Rwandan national. The two got married in 2019 in a traditional marriage ceremony.