As the adage by the former sixth American president John Quincy Adams goes; “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” It correctly reflects Richard Nganwa Ruhinda alias ‘The Beacon’, whose support from Ugandans to represent Uganda at East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) come 2022 is growing every day.
EALA is an organ of the East African Community; established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and entered into force on 7th July 2000 by the Partner States of The Republic of Uganda, The Republic of Kenya; and the United Republic of Tanzania. The Republic of Burundi and the Republic of Rwanda acceded to the Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full members on 1st July 2007 while Republic of South Sudan joined on 16th April 2016 and became a full member on the 5th September 2016 thus expanding the number of the Community Partner States to six.
Uganda is currently represented by Hon.James Kakooza who replaced the late Hon Mathias Kasamba who had been elected to represent Uganda in EALA’s fourth assembly (2017- 2022).
However, as the election for representatives at EALA’s fifth assembly (2022-2027) heats up, a section of stakeholders in the country argue that well-informed Ruhinda has the competence to perform the Assembly cardinal function in the furtherance of Community objectives including; the legislative, representative and oversight mandate.
‘’ We trust Ruhinda can uphold this country as our representative at EALA being the legislative organ of the Community to ; liaise with the National Assemblies of the Partner States on matters relating to the Community; debate and approve the budget of the Community; consider annual reports on the activities of the Community, annual audit reports of the Audit Commission and any other reports referred to it by the Council; discuss all matters pertaining to the Community and make recommendations to the Council as it may deem necessary for the implementation of the Treaty, and also establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary’’, revealed an NRM member of Parliament from Kamuli District.
Another NRM District official from Kakumiro asserted that Ruhinda will be able to perform and realize the Mission of the East African Legislative Assembly is in a bid to foster economic, social, cultural and political integration.
‘’ Uganda needs a representative like Ruhinda at the EALA Assembly who is committed to fostering: Effectiveness, Ethics and Integrity, Transparency and Accountability, Objectivity and Impartiality, Professionalism and Team Work, Unity in Diversity among other values that would drive the region to success’’, said an MP from Kakumiro who preferred anonymity.
The people of Kyankwanzi also argue that the area is geographically, economically and politically positioned but has been put on the periphery when it comes to National cake sharing, therefore having Ruhinda at EALA would create satisfaction to the region.
Ruhinda who is well versed with the Pan-Africanism agenda of a strong united Africa is a product of regional intermarriage by a Ugandan father and a Kenyan mother.
Prior to his great mobilization skills for youth, elderly and women empowerment in Uganda, he has travelled on the African continent making him well versed with African affairs.
He tops the majority of his competitors in the race for EALA seat when it comes to education and is highly informed within security and civil matters of both Governance and leadership in the region.
Ruhinda is a law student at Kampala International University. He holds a Master of Public Health from Bugema University, a degree in Theology from Gate breakers and Bible University and a first class degree in SWASA from Bugema University.
Regarding his work experience, the man from Kyakwanzi has worked with the government of Uganda and the non-governmental organizations like Reach the Youth (RTY) .He has vast experience in mobilizing communities and synergies towards social and economic development.
Ruhinda was born on 20th September 1984 at Magamaga in Busoga sub-region in the wise Eastern part of Uganda by the late Rev Ephraim Muhanguzi from the Bushenyi-Igara in south western Uganda and Mrs Monica Muhanguzi from Busia.