25 November 2012

Uganda: Ex-Ministers Rhoda Kalema, Miria Matembe Honored

Former ministers Rhoda Kalema and Miria Matembe have been awarded for their positive contribution towards alleviating women issues in Uganda.

The duo was given the Rotary Club of Kampala Ssese Islands vocational awards in a rosy function held at Nommo Gallery in Nakasero Kampala at the end of the week.

Kalema was recognized for her great contribution towards women issues in society and ethical professionalism while Matembe for integrity and good governance.

Handing over the accolades, Francis Tusubira, NITA-Uganda's board chairman, who was also the guest of honor, praised the two women for their exemplary behavior and integrity they exhibited in their work life.

He observed that saying that Uganda would be a First World country without the challenges of corruption, domestic violence and poverty if every Ugandan exhibited the work ethics of the two women.

Kalema was not present to collect her accolade, but her daughter Dr. Gladys Kalema picked it on her behalf.

Known for her characteristic humor, Matembe while picking her award, admitted that she thought her "life was over after leaving government", which sent the Rotarians into laughter.

She has served as ethics minister under President Yoweri Museveni's government.

"I can tell you it was bad. Eight years ago when I got out of public service, I would be walking and feel like I am a fly. But thanks to my God I have not disappeared into oblivion," she revealed.

She urged Ugandans to work harder, have faith and maintain integrity "in these trying times".

Kalema is most remembered for leading the way for women politicians in Uganda. In 1995, she stood against eight men for the Kiboga district constituent assembly delegate and won.

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