KAMPALA —Mzee Aggrey Awori who was Minister for Information and Communications Technology between 2009 to 2011 has died.
The former presidential candidate died Monday afternoon aged 82 at a private hospital in Naalya, Kampala.
A close family member said he has been sick for about a month.
Awori was born on 23 February 1939, in Budimo Village, Busia District.
Mzee Owori represented Samia-Bugwe North, Busia District in the Ugandan Parliament from 2001 until 2006.
He was an outspoken opposition member of parliament for the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) political party.
In 2007, he abandoned the UPC and joined the ruling National Resistance Movement.
Mzee Kiying studied at Harvard University on a scholarship majoring in political economics.
While at Harvard, Mzee Awori became the first person in heptagonal track history to win three events – the long jump, high hurdles, and 60-yard dash, tying the heps record in the hurdles and setting the mark in the dash.
He also ran on the victorious mile relay team that tied the heptagonal record.
By the time he graduated from Harvard, Mzee Awori held three outdoor and five indoor school records.
He also represented Uganda in the 110 metres hurdles at the 1960 Summer Olympics and the 1964 Summer Olympics, but failed to win any medals.
Awori had a Master of Arts in economics from Syracuse University in the U.S.
In 1967, Former President, Milton Obote appointed him the first local director of Uganda Television (UTV).
In 1971, President Idi Amin jailed him for two month, for refusing to broadcast 1971 coup speech.
He went into political exile in Kenya, where he taught political journalism at the University of Nairobi until 1976 and then traveled around Africa visiting Tanzania, Liberia and Senegal and returning to Nairobi in 1979.
After Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979, Awori returned to Uganda.
He ran for a seat in the National Assembly of Uganda, but lost. He then became Ambassador to the United States, until being transferred by Tito Okello Lutwa in 1985.
He served as Uganda’s Ambassador to Belgium from 1985 until 1987, when he was dropped by Yoweri Museveni.
After a brief asylum in Nairobi, Awori started to build up a rebel group operating from eastern Uganda named Force Obote Back Again (FOBA).
He stated that his reason for doing so was mainly anger at Museveni’s National Resistance Army, which had confiscated his property.
In 1992, he dissolved his rebel group, which had consisted mainly of young fighters.
In 1993, Awori met with Museveni in New York and then was elected to the Constituent Assembly to make the Constitution and as a Member of Parliament.
He came third in the 2001 presidential elections, polling 1.41% of the vote.
He was married to Thelma Awori, who worked as Director for Africa at the United Nations Development Programme. Together they are the parents of six adult children.