Former Miss Uganda Cecilia Barbara Atim Ogwal, has passed on at age 77. Close family members have told The Ugandan Wire that Ogwal succumbed to cancer at a hospital in India on Thursday morning.
At just age 23 in 1969, Cecilia Ogwal contested and won the highly coveted Miss Uganda position bagging the title of the fairest maiden in the land during the evening stages of the Dr. Apollo Milton Obote 1 regime.
She has also been the Member of Parliament for the Dokolo District Women’s Constituency consecutively since 1996, a member of the parliamentary Committee of Physical Infrastructure in charge of overseeing and covering policy matters related to Lands, Housing, Urban development, Works and Transport, and Physical Planning and a member of the Parliamentary Budget Committee.
Ogwal was born in present day Dokolo District, Northern Uganda, on 12 June 1946. She attended local schools in Uganda. In 1967, at the age of 21, she was admitted to the University of East Africa in Nairobi (now known as the University of Nairobi) to study for a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
She graduated from Nairobi University in 1970. She also holds a Certificate in Human Resources Management from what was then called the Institute of Public Administration, but is now known as Uganda Management Institute.
From 1979 until 1980, Ogwal worked at the Uganda Embassy in Kenya, as the Liaison Officer for Returning Ugandan Refugees. From 1980 until 1981, she worked as the Operations Manager at the Uganda Advisory Board of Trade. In 1982, she was one of the founders of Housing Finance Bank, working there until 1984. She served as the Chairperson of Uganda Development Bank, from 1981 until 1986.
She became involved in Ugandan politics, serving as the Acting Secretary General of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) from 1985 to 1992. In 1994, she was part of the Constituent Assembly which drafted and promulgated the 1995 Ugandan Constitution.
She remained a high-ranking official in the UPC political party until 2004.
During the 2006 parliamentary elections, she lost her Lira Municipality seat to Jimmy Akena, the son of UPC founder Milton Obote.
In 2011, Ogwal contested and won the Women’s Representative seat for the newly created Dokolo District. This time she switched political parties and ran as a member of the Forum for Democratic Change party.