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Mwesigye: The University Drop Out With a Spiritual Calling to Lead Uganda

The 38-year-old pastor at the House of God Church in Entebbe town describes himself as a Mukiga born in Entebbe, a family man and father of five. While he is also a real estate dealer, Mwesigye says he can never do anything without inquiring from God through prayer.
Pastor Fred Mwesigye on nomination day

Audio 7

Presidential candidate Fred Mwesigye keeps referring to his ambition to join the 2021 Presidential race as a conviction from God.

The 38-year-old pastor at the House of God Church in Entebbe town describes himself as a Mukiga born in Entebbe, a family man and father of five.  While he is also a real estate dealer, Mwesigye says he can never do anything without inquiring from God through prayer. 

This time, he says, God spoke to him to join the Presidential race and immediately he notified the Electoral Commission about his intentions.

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However, Mwesigye doesn’t believe in manifestos or political parties and says that even the newly revived parties cannot do much for Uganda.

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His beliefs are shared by his close associates who have been given big roles in his campaign. Jackson Cash Katende who is in charge of his publicity and media says when he heard about the political ambitions he got scared because his longtime friend has never held any political position and knows that politics can get dirty. He says he first learnt about his political ambition, he had a lot of questions.

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Mwesigye’s wife Fausta Nansubuga says the news of her husband’s candidacy came off as a surprise. Speaking to URN at their home in Kiwafu West, a quiet Entebbe neighbourhood, Nansubuga says she came to learn of it much later.

Their political infancy can also be observed from their home located less than 500 metres from Namiiro Swamp, opposite an apartment complex and almost a kilometre from the Lugonjo-Nakiwogo road. Apart from a few of his campaign posters pinned on the gate and fence and electricity pole near his home, one can hardly tell that it’s where a presidential candidate resides.

She explains that Mwesigye told her that right from his childhood, God has been telling him that he has a big calling.  When he got to know that he would be standing for the presidency last year, Nansubuga says, he did not tell her until May 2020.

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She says ever since Mwesigye's nomination, the biggest changes they have seen relate to their personal security because of police officers deployed at home and where ever Mwesigye is. "It is very strange for us all. But Fred is the most affected because he is a reserved person who loves his privacy. He, however, has to live with it because he is now a public figure," Nansubuga says.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Enock Musisi a family friend says he first met Mwesigye in 2005 while in when primary three. At the time, Musisi's home was three houses away from Mwesigye's home in Bugonga, Entebbe.

However, Musisi says, he was at first not close to Mwesigye because he was not in his age bracket. He was rather close to Mwesigye's younger brother, Moses Asiimwe and through him, he became a regular visitor to Mwesigye's home. In 2012, they ventured into business together and got to know Mwesigye much better.

To Musisi, God has sent Mwesigye to lead Uganda and that he helped him discover his purpose in the earth as a Pastor.

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Apart from relying on God, Mwesigye’s agenda is quite tricky to put together. He says he wanted to run a peaceful campaign that’s why there is no much deployment at his home like many of the presidential candidates. At first, he had opted for a plainly virtual campaign focusing on reaching out through mainstream and social media.  But has now opted to traverse the country. 

Key among his messages to the public as he campaigns arise from what he encountered while growing up and through school. For instance, while he had enrolled for an Information Technology course at the university, his education was short-lived because of financial constraints.

From his experience, he says there should be a fund to help continuing university students who cannot afford fees.

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Mwesigye is in his second year of a theology course at Kampala Christian College where he went years after dropping out of Makerere University in his first year. He also attended St. Agnes Primary school in Entebbe, Kajjansi Progress school for his Ordinary level and St. Lawrence Creamland campus for his advanced level of education.