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Frankly Speaking with Matthew Bukenya

By Joan Akello

The Executive Secretary of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB)

What do people say about you that shocks you?

I thank God that there is nothing which can shock me. People can say this and that but they do not shock me because I know I am doing the correct thing. I am confident.

Who are you in two sentences?

I am a husband and father to five children, four boys and a girl. I know where to give my accountability.


What do people say about you that shocks you?

Nothing. And I thank God that there is nothing which can shock me. People can say this and that but they do not shock me because I know I am doing the correct thing. I am confident.

What makes you this confident?

God has given me a gift of a confident mind and I do not panic.

Where do you derive your happiness?

From God.

What else do you love?

I love talking to people particularly the youth to put them on the proper line to become proper citizens of this country. Even when I go for conferences outside Uganda, I talk to the youth.

What is your biggest worry for the youth of today?

I feel concerned. About 70 percent of the population here are youth. I speak to them, to see that I put some values in them.

What was your childhood dream and job?

I wanted to be a priest.

When did you change your mind?

I did not. This dream did not change. It is a call.  God did not call me.

What were you doing before UNEB?

I was a citizen like you but I had for some time worked with exams and the East African Community.

Is that why you got this job 16 years ago?

I am one of those secretaries who have not applied for a job. I was identified and told to come and work as the executive secretary of UNEB.

What one decision do you regret making?

None. I always think before I make a decision.

What is the hardest decision you have had to make?

When I am nullifying these examination results of candidates.  Nullifying results is a big decision that affects parents, schools, candidates so it is very difficult for me.

When was the last time you cried?

When I was caned in my childhood. I used to have a teacher who would cane us five strokes each but he was training to make me a good citizen. Then also when I lost my mother, it touched me.

If you were a woman?

I would be a mother.

What if you were Miria Matembe?

I would still respect my husband.

Which woman do you respect and admire?

My wife, Christine.

What did you feel when you met and married her?

When you meet somebody, you get acquainted for some time may be a year or two, sometimes three. We decided to be together after three years.

How do you want to you want to be remembered?

Nothing. They can judge for themselves. I like to be in a jovial mood.

What is your philosophy about life?

I’m a person who believes in God and I know that one day I’ll have to give my accountability to God.  My last day I will be facing God and he will ask me, Mr. Bukenya, you have been here and here, can you give your accountability and I know it is clean.

What is your favourite colour?

I do not have any. But I try to always wear a smile.

What do you pray for daily?

To die in the love of God.

What is your favourite song?

When I go to church I praise God by singing hymns.

Which book are you reading currently?

At the moment, I am not reading any except books I get on the plane. In the past I read William Shakespeare’s books. They still give me much pleasure. The literature there is very good especially Julius Caesar.

How many siblings do you have?

We were many, seven in number, five boys and two girls. Unfortunately two boys are gone.

Do they ever praise you?

Yes they are proud of me. Even my students are proud of me, and whoever finds me.

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