Henry Kyemba, a long serving civil servant and former Minister of Health during Idi Amin’s government, is dead.
Kyemba, 84, succumbed to diabetes-related complications on Wednesday, according to a family member.
He has been living with his daughter, Susan Kyemba, in Namugongo, a Kampala suburb.
According to his nephew Christopher Katagwa, the deceased has been battling diabetes for quite some time. Katangwa said burial date will be communicated but that the deceased will be buried in Wanyama Village, Bugembe Ward in Jinja City, which is his ancestral home.
Speaker of Parliament Anita Among mourned the deceased.
“We offer our sincere Condolences to the family and friends of Hon.Henry Kyemba upon his passing. Hon Kyemba served his Country with distinction in various capacities and played a critical role in preserving the history of Uganda. We pray that the Lord comforts his loved ones in this moment of grief and grants his soul eternal rest,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Born 8 February 1937, Kyemba joined the Uganda civil service on the eve of Uganda’s independence from Britain in 1962. He was the Principal Private Secretary to then Prime Minister of Uganda, Milton Obote.
Following the 1971 Ugandan coup d’etat, he joined Amin’s cabinet, rising through the ranks to become the Minister of Health (1974–1977) during Amin’s regime.
Kyemba defected to London in 1977, where he wrote a book on Amin’s regime titled: “A State of Blood.”
He returned to Uganda in 1986, and he served as Secretary of Judicial Service Commission. He is also the author of State of Blood, a 1977 book he wrote after his flight from Uganda that describes Amin’s tyrannical rule.
He studied from Busoga College Mwiri for his Cambridge School Certificate (1951–1956). He was at Makerere University between 1957 and 1962 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in History.
Kyemba held a master’s degree in history from Northwestern University, Evanston, US and a Certificate in African studies from the same university. He also held an Honours degree in history from the London University.