By Priscilla Namanya
Gerald Karuhanga, 33, Youth MP for Western Uganda spoke to Priscilla Namanya
Any things we do not know about you?
I am a soft hearted person with a simple character who has a lot of empathy for others. I was born in a humble setting. There was a time when my father and I were in school at the same time but he let me continue to finish my studies.
What are your most interesting moments?
They are largely political. One was when I successfully challenged the government about the blunders it was about to commit most especially on the issue of the Chief Justice. The other is when I am with friends, taking a cup of coffee.
Has your political life affected your relationship with other people?
They get bored that I cannot see them regularly and they don’t understand that politics can sometimes be very demanding.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being fully at peace with your conscience, feeling complete and doing what your mind is very comfortable with and also being honest. If Uganda had very honest leaders, the people would be extremely happy and also stick to their principles.
When and where were you happiest?
When I was elected Youth MP and the time when I exposed the corruption in the oil sector. I knew what I did was the right move despite the consequences I possibly had to face afterwards.
What trait do you most deplore in yourself?
I do not keep time. But in the life of politics, it is very hard because you find yourself with many engagements at the same time.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Having coffee with colleagues. You will not possibly believe me but to me it is the thing that I spend the most on. Coffee turns out to be dinner for five but then ten come. It is my life.
What do you consider most overrated?
Money. We tend to think that money is everything but it is not. It is simply just temporary but people go ahead to do anything to achieve it.
What is your current state of mind?
Representing my fellow Ugandans in Parliament again and having a family in the near future.
Any marriage plans?
Well I am really looking forward to that, I am still opening my eyes waiting to see this ‘’woman of my life’’.
What quality do you most like in a woman?
Being reliable, trustworthy, brilliant, one who will cherish values and stick to principles. She will not just be blown by the wind.
How have you dealt with the media about your life?
I must say if you choose to live a public life, it is very hard to run away from all stories that will be falsely published or said about you. But if you engage yourself in work that benefits you and keep the right company, all this fades.
What would you change about yourself?
Being able to keep time. Time is life.
What are your greatest achievements?
Ever since I was young, I had always wanted to be a lawyer but my parents wanted me to become a pharmacist. In my senior five, I did sciences but went ahead to change in senior six to do arts so that I could pursue a bachelors of law. The fact that I can also stand up without fear of any intimidation and threat really gratifies me. I strongly believe our country will not be built by anyone else so most times the risks we take are worth the bite.
What is your lowest depth of misery?
I was at university in 2005 when I saw the Presidential term limits being removed. I did not think it would be that deep but it was then that I swore the day I go to the parliament; I would attempt to present a Bill on the restoration of the Presidential term limits which I did though till today it is on the Speaker’s desk.
How has that made you feel?
I still feel saddened about it. However if it were accepted, the Presidential age limit would be removed.
Who are your favorite writers?
I am fond of reading autobiographies, so my writers tend to vary from person to person. However people who have written their lives and their works interest me. For example Nelson Mandela in the “Long walk to Freedom”.
Which person do you admire and why?
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Nelson Mandela; they are very honest and reliable men. These values are very rare in today’s leadership.
What is your greatest love?
Interestingly, they are people. I honestly love people. For some reason, I can do anything for people. I am easily attracted by people and always want to be with people interacting. I think God gave me a huge bag of love, it is not exhaustible.
How would you want to be remembered?
I just cannot wait for that day when I am being buried and people are saying honest things about me not just because it is a culture but because each and everything they say is true and that the people appreciate me that way.
If you were to die and come back, what would you be?
Honestly, I would want to be Karuhanga again.
Any advice to the people?
The challenges we face as a country face all of us. We cannot afford to shy away from them. We have to tackle them and confront them.
What is your motto?
It is derived from my old man. It is “love one another”. If we loved one another as a country, a society, we would solve almost 98% of our problems.