The appointment of Maj. Rtd Jessica Alupo as the new Vice President replacing Hon. Edward Ssekandi shocked many. However, Maj. Alupo is not a new name in President Museveni’s Cabinet. The retired Major once served as the Minister for Youth and children though became popular during her tenure as the Minister of Education and Sports.
Alupo is a politician, former military officer and educator born in 1974 in Katakwi district. Before undergoing the officer cadet course at the Uganda Junior Staff College in Jinja, she trained as a high school teacher.
Alupo holds a bachelor of arts in political science and linguistic besides a master’s degree, the Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy both from Makerere University.
She attained a diploma in public administration and management and her second master’s degree in the Masters in Public Administration and Management all from Uganda Management Institute.
Over the years she worked as a teacher at Katakwi High School, an instructor at the Uganda Urban Warfare Training school and an intelligence officer at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.
Alupo’s political career started in 2001 when she ran for the Katakwi Woman Member of Parliament seat and won. She was re-elected in 2006 and 2011, but lost the seat in 2016 elections.
She first joined the Cabinet in 2009 as the Minster in charge of Youth and Children Affairs. In 2011, Maj. (Rtd) Alupo was appointed the Minister of Education and Sports replacing Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire who held the position first from 1979 to 1980 and then 2005 to 2011.
From supervising the creation of the Students Loan Scheme, overseeing the setting up of more public universities, campaigning for school feeding and engaging parents to feed their children at school to directing the writing of the school feeding guidelines that she left in the course of its implementation, Alupo caused positive changes in the ministry in her reign as the Minister of Education and sports.
Alupo was however dropped in 2016 when she lost her seat as the Katakwi Woman Member of Parliament. In the recently concluded election, Alupo won the Katakwi Woman MP seat and has bounced back in the cabinet as the Vice President.