By Najibu Mulema
Eng. Badru Kigundu has been the chairman of Uganda’s Electoral Commission. He was appointed by President Yoweri Museveni in 2002. Kiggundu has officially handed over his office of the EC where he has been holding the realm for 14 years.
Kiggundu was born on January 1, 1945 in Nkozi hospital to the late Hajati Yunia Kabugo and the late Hajji Yunus K A Luswa. Both were buried in Kikajjo where his grandparents Sulaiman Kiwanuka were also laid to rest. Kiggundu’s mother at that time had maternity problems and it was considered luck that little Kiggundu made it through to adulthood.
Kiggundu has two surviving siblings from his mother. His youngest sister, is a midwife who worked at Mulago hospital for over 30 years and retired and his eldest brother, Hajji Sulaiman Kiwanuka, is also an engineer; he lives in Mutundwe.
Kiggundu’s father however had 23 surviving children by the time he died so he has other sisters and brothers from his stepmothers.
The former EC Boss is also married with 10 children.
Education and career journey:
Kiggundu studied his primary from Kabasanda primary School then joined Kibuli secondary school for his ‘O’ level after which he got a scholarship for his A’ level in Nabumali secondary school.
From there, he got a scholarship for his university education in United States of America where he got a Bachelors degree in Engineering (BSc 1969), MSc 1971 from Carnegie-Mellon University and PhD in 1981 from the University of New Mexico USA.
Kiggundu is a Geotechnical/Bituminous materials specialist. His research in Geotechnical and Bituminous materials has contributed a lot in the study of the same.
He was Associate Professor, head of Department, Civil Engineering and later Dean of Faculty of Technology at Makerere University.
He was also chairman of several conferences on Earthquake disaster preparedness and Engineering in Uganda.
Kiggundu has been a consultant on various road works rehabilitation projects as director at Technology Consult Ltd.
As an academic he has authored in excess of 50 publications.
He was entrusted with the stewardship of the Electoral Commission as Chairman since November 18th 2002.
How he found his way to Uganda’s politics:
His first entry was at LC level in 1989. That time, Kiggundu had just
Returned to the country and he lived in Mutundwe when some people came to him and asked him (Kiggundu) to lead them, a request he accepted. Nobody contested against him. Kiggundu was later moved to LC-II and eventually became chairman LC-II for over 10 years in Mutundwe.
From there he received a call from State House informing him about his appointment as chairman of the Electoral Commission.
Though the office of EC chairman is one of the most sensitive offices in the country, Kiggundu has managed to hold what he calls successful elections at all levels most especially the sensitive presidential elections without causing any conflict and major political unrests in the country.
Kiggundu has been in charge for three general election including 2006, 2011 and 2016.
He has been challenged, dragged to court by opposition parties but these short outcomes never made him forego his responsibilities.
Often, Kiggundu has been accused of being a partisan NRM cadre, and of conducting unfair elections.
What the future holds for him?
Kiggundu was recently appointed by Museveni to head the monitoring team of Karuma and Isimba hydro power stations construction so he is still here in the field enjoying the fruits of his sweat.