The rise of Doreen Nyanjura. From Makerere politics to Kampala Deputy Lord Mayor
Doreen Nyanjura, the current Councillor of Makerere University, was recently appointed the Deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala district by Erias Lukwago after Sarah Kanyike resigned to pursue other duties.
How much do you know about Doreen, this article provides an insight into her journey from actively participating in politics at Makerere University to the second highest position in the capital Kampala.
Many first learnt of Nyanjura in 2009, as the girl who organised demonstrations at Makerere University and heavily invested in the formation of Forum for Democratic change (FDC) party structures at the university.
But her journey to fighting for change and justice dates way back to her days in primary school. As a young girl growing up in the outskirts of Fort Portal, with a father who is an ardent reader, Nyanjura was exposed to the struggles of those who came before us; Che Guevara, Nelson Mandela and the key Opposition figure in the land, Dr Kizza Besigye.
While speaking to the Daily Monitor, she narrates that on a random day, while trotting the streets of Fort Portal, Nyanjura, then in Primary Five, she met for the first time Dr Byesigye. With his poster hang on a tree, her curiosity swung into action.
“This was a new face, so I picked interest. Who is this man? I wanted to learn more about the person who was not being talked about a lot in my area,” she said.
Throughout secondary school (Kyebambe Girls Secondary School and Masheruka Girls School), Nyanjura participated in demonstrations that sought to better the lives of the students or fight any form of injustice and abuse of power.
She remembers when she led the Women in Command in 2016 when police had camped at Dr Besigye’s home
Many first learnt of Nyanjura in 2009, as the girl who organised demonstrations at Makerere University and heavily invested in the formation of Forum for Democratic change (FDC) party structures at the university. She also served as the Makerere Guild vice president between 2011 and 2012.
She has previously served as an FDC NEC Member (Sec For Trade Industry Economy and Investment). Other capacities include the National Coordinator of the National Association of the Unemployed. She has also co-authored a book titled ‘Is It The Fundamental Change, Unveiling the hidden Truth’.
In 2012, Nyanjura was arrested along With FDC activist Sam Mugumya for authoring that bookdue to its critism of the NRM. This landed her in Luzira Maximum prison for the first time.
In 2016, Nyanjura joined KCCA as councillor representing Makerere University. Early this year, she became a cabinet member at the Authority after she was appointed Minister of Finance and administration in the KCCA Council by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.
The appointment came after she lost the position of Speaker in a hotly contested race to People Power candidate Abubaker Kawalya in a race which she described as vulgar and filled with blackmail.
“The speaker race was vulgar and filled with a lot of blackmail. I think that was the most expensive election, there was a lot of money… currently we put all that behind us and we are all working for the good of Kampala,” she narrated.
Her nomination by the FDC party for that race was attributed to her loyalty to the party, something she takes pride in.
On the issue of women in politics, Nyanjura believes society inhibits women from doing great things by dictating responsibility based on gender.
“Let us follow our passion and be inspired by women who came before us… We need to respect their input, we need to build from where they stopped.“We should start mentoring girls at a tender age. A girl should be taught that she can also be a president… You should tell a girl that you can be President Nyanjura,” she says.
When asked about her plans for 2021, she speaks hesitantly of her plans for 2021, she revealed that she intends to stick to Makerere for now. Her main aspiration is to see change in this country, especially the presidency, where as she puts it is where “everything starts and ends”.
Additional reporting by the Daily Monitor.