Hajj Hussien Kyanjo, the former Makindye West Member of Parliament passed away from Kibuli Hospital where he was being treated for an illness he has battled against for a long time.
The passing of the businessman turned legislator has shocked many and continues to feature across the platforms on social media.
A number of tributes are also flowing in praise of Hussien Kyanjo, who while living preached and practiced “Politics of honesty and openness”
The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among in mourning Hussein Kyanjo wrote that Hajj set the bar for legislative excellence and leaves a legacy of a distinguished lawmaker, a unifying factor, and a leader who exhibited integrity. Our sympathies to his family, friends, and the people of Makindye West, Kampala, and Uganda at large.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa using his Twitter handle said Kyanjo was an astute debater whose eloquence could move mountains. Parliament benefited a lot from this strong attribute of his when he was a member. He was vocal on issues of corruption, human rights, and good governance”
Kyanjo once told URN in an interview that the kind of training he received from his early days in the villages of the then-greater Masaka shaped the kind of politics he practiced.
He would not be easily silenced once he knew that what he was speaking against was the truth.
He served in Parliament from 2006 -2016. His tenure in Parliament would have spurned for a longer period than he did but it was cut short by a strange medical condition that he has battled against until his demise.
Hussein Kyanjo was once a shadow Minister of Internal Affairs. Using that position, he constantly reminded the army and the police about the need for a balance in appointments for top ranks in the two forces.
He believed that the top brass in Police and UPDF were coming from the West where President Museveni comes from.
Kyanjo will be remembered for having been a champion of equality, a lover, and a believer of the Kabaka and the Kingdom of Uganda.
He equally loved Islam and pushed for human rights and the rule of law while he served and after he left Parliament.
Despite rising to rub shoulders with other Politicians in Uganda and elsewhere in the world, he continued to live a decent but simple life even after left the legislature. He once joked that he did not fear death saying that it was natural that everyone will eventually die.
“You know when you are born, the next thing is to die. So when you enter Parliament, your first plan should be what will I be when you get out. If you plan that way, you will never go wrong”
Hussein was born in 1960 in present-day Ntuuma in Bukomasimbi district. His parents were Mariam Nabuuma and Silliman Zirabamuzale.
He joined the Parliament of Uganda in 2006 to become the first member of the Justice Forum or JEEMA to get elected in Parliament to represent Makindye West replacing the then-experienced legislator and lawyer, Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu then one of the two Conservative Party members in Parliament. The other was John Ken Lukyamuzi.
Hussien Kyanjo had earlier contested against Nsambu in 2001 but he could not oust Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu, a self-proclaimed Kabaka and Buganda Kingdom loyalist who at one time said then he was by birth and every inch in him believed in the Kabaka.
Before Hussein Kyanjo joined Parliament in 2006, he had become famous on some of the FM talk shows in Kampala for his debating skills based on researched information but also his willingness to defend the marginalized however much he would seem to be criticizing the government in power.
He stood in the leagues of the likes of Medard Ssegona, Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga, and Betty Namboze when it came to debating issues related to the Kabaka and the Buganda Kingdom.
When he joined Parliament, he was chosen to serve on the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee where he exhibited good performance on matters related to law and order especially trying to fight brutality in the Police.
“There has been an effort by those in the police to rectify some of these problems but some of them have been constrained by budgetary problems. But the worst problem for the Police these days, the worst problem they have is interference by those who call themselves above. Police are no longer independent and this is a big thing”
At the time he joined Parliament the leadership of the Uganda Police Force had changed from General Edward Katumba Wamala to General Kale Kayihura.
At the time there were complaints about the impartiality in the police. There had been issues around the torture of suspects in the police cells. Kyanjo would not wait to point out those issues.
While some people found him very critical of the UPDF and the Police, Kyanjo as a true legislator would defend for improvement of their welfare.
Part of the constituents were the men and women from Makindye Barracks as well as the police at Nsambya.
“We are not here to mark time. We are here to represent the views of our people and some of them are people from the military officers. Those who complain that there are not being promoted, they don’t go on courses abroad. You have seen how one spokesman of the army has been from one region. One spokesman after the other. Uganda Somalia Uganda Somali it is wrong”
Apart from debating issues related to defense and international Affairs, Hussein Kyanjo like his predecessor, Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu was among the Baganda MPS that stood against the Land Act Amendment Bill which culminated into the Land Act Amendment Bill 2010.
During the infamous September 2009 riots following the rift between the central government and Buganda, Kyanjo suggested that Buganda should secede from Uganda. It is a view he had maintained until death.
In one of the interviews with URN, the fallen Legislator declared that “It is not this government that offered me as a son of my father but he is. It is not this government that offered me as a Muslim but I’m. So if this government thinks they are going to declare Baganda to be under Ssabasajja Kabaka by law, let them abolish the Kingdom. For us, we shall follow the Kingdom that we know”
At the time, he expressed his frustration on the way the central government treated and handled Buganda.
He felt like President Museveni was using Buganda for his selfish political ends.
“If you give me two options: to secede or remain in, I will willingly choose the former. The Baganda have been used, pushed, and cheated” he said in one of the interviews.
Hussien Kyanjo went to Bilal Islamic School in Bwaise, Kako primary school, and Masaka Secondary School.
He joined Makerere University in 1983 where studied for a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Fine Art.
He will be laid to rest on Sunday at his ancestral home burial grounds in Bukomasimbi.