KAMPALA, UGANDA: The State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Col (rtd) Charles Okello Engola was Tuesday morning shot dead by his personal bodyguard in Kampala.
Engola, 64, who was smartly dressed for work succumbed to injuries sustained from the shooting in the stomach and leg by the rowdy officer at his residence in Kisasi, a Kampala suburb.
The guard later ran to an adjacent salon, where he took his own life. A photo from the crime scene shows Engola’s motionless body lying beside the minister’s official Land Cruiser vehicle.
Who was Charles Engola?
Born on 12 October 1958 in present-day Oyam District, Charles Okello Engola, was a Ugandan politician and retired Colonel in the Uganda People’s Defence Force.
He was born to Chief (Jago) Nasan Engola and Ketula Engola of Awangi, in Iceme, Oyam district and was also the grandson of Rwot Olong Adilo of Iceme.
Engola was appointed to the position of minister of state for defence on 6 June 2016, replacing General Jeje Odongo, who was appointed Cabinet Minister of Internal Affairs.
At the time of his assassination, he was serving as the Member of Parliament representing Oyam North County in the eleventh parliament.
Education and Work Experience
According to the minister’s profile on the Parliament website, Engola obtained his High School Diploma from Soroti Secondary School, in the city of Soroti, in the Eastern Region of Uganda.
His first degree, a Bachelor of Development Studies, was awarded by Kampala International University (KIU), in 2010. His second degree, a Master of Public Administration and Management was also obtained from KIU, in 2013.
While in the military, Engola was the commander of UPDF 501 Brigade, headquartered at Opit, in Gulu District. The brigade played a role in fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army. He was promoted to the rank of colonel and retired from the military in 2007.
During the 2006 national election cycle, Engola successfully contested for the Local Council 5 (LCV), Oyam District Council Chairmanship, on the ruling NRM political party ticket. He won in a landslide, winning 93 per cent of the vote.
He was re-elected in 2011 and served as the LCV Chair for Oyam District for a continuous 10 years, from 2006.
In 2016 he won the Oyam North parliamentary seat and is the incumbent member of parliament.
On 6 June 2016, Engola was named to the cabinet as State Minister of Defence. In the cabinet reshuffle of 14 December 2019, Engola retained his portfolio.
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