George Cosmas Adyebo

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George Cosmas Adyebo
6th Prime Minister of Uganda
In office
22 January 1991 – 18 November 1994
Preceded by Samson Kisekka
Succeeded by Kintu Musoke
Personal details
Born 18 June 1947
Owiny Village, Uganda
Died 19 November 2000 (aged 53)
Kampala, Uganda
Political party National Resistance Movement
Profession politician

George Cosmas Adyebo (18 June 1947[1] – 19 November 2000) was a Ugandan politician and economist who was Prime Minister of Uganda from 1991 to 1994.

Adyebo became Prime Minister on 22 January 1991, succeeding Samson Kisekka, who became Vice-President. Adyebo served as Prime Minister for nearly four years, until 18 November 1994.

Childhood and Education

Adyebo George Cosmas was born on 18 June 1947[2] at Owiny Village, Nambyeco sub-county, Kwania, Apac to Mr. William Ogwal and Imat Giradeci Acio.

Adyebo joined Nyapea College from the then St Pious XII Junior Secondary School Aduku - now called Ikwera Boys, after coming from Abuli Primary School, Nambyeco, where he set an academic record in the 1961 Primary Leavig School Certificate (PLE). No pupil has ever broken the record to date. His former teachers confirm that from Primary one, Adyebo was promoted to Primary four due to his academic excellence that didn't require him to study in primary two or three.

From an early age, Adyebo already showed signs of leadership among his peers. During his 'O' level at St Aloysius college Nyapea, he served as the school prefect. For his Advanced level of education at Namilyango College, he played football for the then Buganda region. Earlier on he also played football for West Nile District (now Arua, Nebbi, Moyo and Adjumani districts).

After succeeding in his 'A' levels at Namilyango College, he was awarded a scholarship to study at Charles University in Prague. He graduated with a master's degree in Economic Engineering specializing in Mechanization & Automation of Management. Early Career From 1976 to 1979, Adyebo worked as the systems Analyst/Programmer with Uganda Computer Services, a department of the Ministry of Finance before he was rapidly promoted and retained by the Ministry of Education.

From 1979 to 1983, Adyebo lectured at Uganda College of Commerce Nakawa currently known as Makerere University Business School. The lectures comprised; Systems Analysis and Design, Computer Programming, Quantitative Analysis as well as Financial Accounting and Management. He equally tutored students who were taking examinations for the Award of Certified and Chartered Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Managers and Administrators (ICMA) and Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).

After serving as a lecturer at Makerere Business School, he became the principal of Uganda College of Commerce Aduku between 1983 and 1989 - simultaneously serving as a member of Apac District Council V.

Political Career

The Lt. Rt. Hon. Adyebo was a Member of Parliament for Kwania County upon his death on 19.11.2000. During his political career, Adyebo worked hard to bring change into Uganda's government system and foster economic reform. He left a very strong legacy for (Northern) Ugandans to aspire to. Having come from a very humble background, all his subsequent endeavors reveal a man of exceptional academic brilliance and discipline. His achievements and projects still linger within the hearts of many Ugandans who would not hesitate to endorse his honesty, hard work and exemplary stature in politics. His various roles in Ugandan Politics are highlighted below;

1997 - 2000: Member of Parliament for Kwania County

1994 - 1997: Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Senior Presidential Advisor. In 1995, Adyebo was an elected delegate during the debating and promulgation of the 1995 constitution.

1991-1994: Uganda's Prime Minister preceded by Samson Kiseka and succeeded by Kintu Musoke.

1989: Member of the National Resistance Movement prior to joining the Apac District Council V.


The Lt. Rt George Cosmas Adyebo met his wife Nelly Adyebo during his educational occupation at UCC Aduku. They have four children; Moses Oteng, Carolyne Acio, Christine Ayo and Abraham Ogwal.


During the 1990s, just as Adyebo's political career started to gain momentum, so did his love for football. He was a football enthusiast while completing his A levels at Namilyango College; playing for the School team and also representing Buganda region. Common stories associate Adyebo as a magician or Lucky Charm to Ugandan football.The following account pays homage to his influence. According to an article published in the observer during this period of time, Barely a few months after becoming the third highest-ranking citizen of Uganda, Adyebo graced the Africa Cup of Nation qualifier game against Tanzania. The must-win encounter put many fans on tenterhooks but Magid Musisi’s hat-trick saved the blushes in a 3-2 win.

As several fans departed the stadium, Adyebo stayed behind and patiently waited for his chance to shake Musisi’s hands before he left. A few weeks later, he was chief guest as Uganda junior side defeated Mozambique 3-1 in a 1992 Olympic qualifier. In this game, Ibrahim Kizito bagged three goals yet it was Adyebo who stole the show with his relentless cheering throughout the match.

Having seen the charm in Adyebo, Villa and Express mooted the idea of making Adyebo the chief guest for key matches. The move paid immediate dividends in May 1992 when Villa hosted Kenya Posta in the Caf Cup.

As time wore on without a goal, fans became agitated yet on the contrary; Adyebo became animated and urged the team on from the pavilion. Iddi Batambuze scored a late winner to send fans wild but many left singing praises to Adyebo’s presence for the lucky escape. The Jogoos since then made Adyebo a permanent feature for their international games.

Ironically, KCC FC didn’t read much in Adyebo’s charm and ‘ignored’ him before their 1995 Caf Cup Winners Cup against Zanzibar’s Malindi at Nakivubo full of confidence. But as fate would have it, they lost the match 0-2 much to the chagrin of fans, who attacked club officials for ignoring the elegant premier.

Surprisingly, Adyebo doubted his magic wand on the endless occasions this topic was brought to his attention. “I’m not a magician and it is just a matter of coincidence, may be. I have no extraordinary powers to let people win,’ he used to say.

When he was dropped as prime minister in November 1994, many fans feared for the worst but that only proved a blessing in disguise. In his new assignment as NRC deputy speaker, he spared more time for football and he greatly engaged Fufa and clubs in preparations for international engagement.

He was deeply involved with Express in their fairytale run to the semifinals of the 1995 Africa Club championships. He also promised Shs 1 million for every Express goal in the semis against Orlando Pirates, which he paid when Express settled for a 1-1 draw. But despite his close attachment to the Red Eagles, Adyebo constantly denied being a supporter of any local club.

Such football patronage was a rarity and Adyebo stood out as a football philanthropist. In November 1995, he headed Fufa’s special welfare committee that organised the 1995 Cecafa Cup in Kampala. He did a commendable job and secured sponsorship from a couple of companies.

Several leading football figures mooted the idea of Adyebo becoming Fufa president but he turned down the offer, preferring to contribute from what he termed as the ‘frontline.’

Behind the scenes, however, Adyebo’s popularity in football is said to have rubbed several high-ranking government officials the wrong way. In fact, insiders say he was cautioned to stay away from football lest he risked demotion and indeed, he spent the entire 1996 without watching matches.

Later that year, I bumped into him at Entebbe airport and though he admitted being up-to-date with football trends, he only followed the sport through reading newspapers. In early 2000, a cancerous foot worsened his health and he completely left the public scene. He died on November 19, 2000 at Kampala International Hospital.

One of Ugandan football’s greatest ambassadors was gone and to this day, no government official has ever come close to replicating Adyebo’s passion for the game. In the end, his lucky charm was nothing more than a superstition but the motivation it brought to a whole stadium offered hope in moments of despair.[3]

The Lt Rt Hon. Adyebo died on November 19 at Kampala International Hospital after battling with cancer for several years.[4]


Political offices
Preceded by
Samson Kisekka
Prime Minister of Uganda
22 January 1991 - 18 November 1994
Succeeded by
Kintu Musoke