KAMPALA – Lawyer, Phiona Rwandarugali has announced that she will run for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Parliamentary seat for 2022-2027.
Ms. Rwandarugali, an advocate of the High Court of Uganda and Kenya and has been pushing for regional integration through different fora said that she will be standing as an independent candidate.
Counsel Rwandarugali has since listed a number of pillars to bolster regional integration including the much sought-after Customs Union, the Common Market, and the Monetary Union, focusing on compliance among East African Community (EAC) the Member States regarding regional policies.
The Customs Union and the Common Market have been put in place through protocols that are worked on by EAC ministries and signed by the heads of state. But Counsel Rwandarugali says that as Uganda’s EALA representative she will ensure that the country negotiates and ensures that the region federates politically and that member states also comply with regional policies.
According to article 50 of the East African Community treaty and clause 4 of the EALA Elections Act 2011, the national parliament is mandated to conduct local elections for EALA. Parliament sets its own rules and regulations governing its elections although they must be guided by the treaty and EALA Elections Act.
At this level, independents like Rwandarugali, are allowed allocated a particular seat as long as they meet the requirements set by Parliament. Principally, parliament is supposed to vote nine people through a secret ballot. Therefore, the top nine people (on the basis of votes garnered) are considered successful.
However, in electing the nine people, parliament must, as much as possible, ensure that these people reflect the political parties represented, shades of opinion, gender, and special interest groups.
Article 50 (1) of the East African Treaty encourages all parties and shades represented in parliament to sit and agree on how the nine slots shall be shared out.
Who is Phiona Rwandarugali?
Rwandarugali, who attended local schools for primary and secondary education studied law at Makerere University and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree.
She obtained a diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, in Kampala and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kenya School of Law, Nairobi. Later she graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree.
Ms. Rwandarugali, now a managing partner with Ssewagudde Kalema & Co. Advocates Kampala –Uganda, was famed for spearheading a popular petition to the High Court of Kenya, protesting an administrative decision by the CLE in she described as a blatant violation of the treaty establishing the EAC after authorities had barred students from others regional member states from sitting Bar Course exams at the Kenya School of Law.
She taught company law and constitutional law at Kampala University in Uganda before joining Mwenda Macharia Mwangi & Co. Advocates in Nairobi – Kenya as the firm’s Associate Head.
Ms. Rwandarugali also had working stints at Rwakafuuzi & Co. Advocates Kampala – Uganda as legal Assistant and Administrative Assistant with Legal Marc Advocates Kampala – Uganda.
She is a member of the Uganda Law Society, the East African Law Society, and an advocate of the High Court of Uganda. She is also a member of the Law Society of Kenya and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
She was the head Peace Ambassador Envoy East Africa Students Association also holds several other certificates including one fighting corruption and debating. She was also awarded for her contribution in reviewing Makerere Debate/Club Constitution.
Ms. Rwandarugali offers probono services to members of the Uganda Heart Association and she has severally contributed to supporting Kasese communities during the misfortune of floods, by donating clothes and financial support.
She has also supported orphanage homes including Nsambya Babies’ home by delivering food items to the children at the facility paying for utilities such as water among others.
Ms. Rwandarugali has previously held fundraising drives to raise sanitary towels and scholastic materials for disadvantaged children especially the girls and she is currently paying school fees for three non-biological school-going girls aged 15-18 years and supporting two others aged 13-14 years by contributing to school fees and school requirements.
Rwandarugali is passionate about leadership through services to the people, church ministry, charity work and ministry, tourism and travel, farming, club associations, and interacting with friends.
In her free time, she enjoys swimming & jogging, reading, theatre, dancing, and singing.
She has won plaudits for many accomplishments.
Notably, she helped set up a charitable organization to help vulnerable school-going children by supporting them with scholastic materials and other needs. In 2019, she took it upon herself to lobby for assistance by writing to the Duke and Duchess of Success for help with the plight of nodding disease children in Uganda.
Her profile shows that she worked as a consultant with the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) and Plan International Kampala Uganda.