Mary Karooro Okurut

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Mary Karooro Okurut
Mary Karooro Okurut (cropped).jpg
Born (1954-12-08) 8 December 1954 (age 62)
Bushenyi, Uganda
Residence Kampala, Uganda
Nationality Ugandan
Citizenship Uganda
Alma mater Makerere University
(BA in English Literature)
(MA in English Literature)
(Diploma in Education)
Occupation Author, educator & politician
Years active 1981 – present
Known for Politics, Literature
Home town Bushenyi
Title Cabinet Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda
Spouse(s) Stanislaus Okurut (?-2014)

Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut (born 8 December 1954), more commonly known as Mary Karooro Okurut, is a Ugandan educator, author and politician. She is the current Cabinet Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, in the Ugandan Cabinet. She was appointed to that position on 6 June 2016.[1] Prior to that, from 1 March 2015 until 6 June 2016, she served as Cabinet Minister for National Security. She was appointed to that position on 1 March 2015, replacing Wilson Muruli Mukasa, who was appointed Minister of Gender and Social Issues.[2] Between 2012 and 2015, she served as the Minister of Gender and Social Issues in the Cabinet of Uganda. She was appointed to that position in 2012. She replaced Syda Bumba, who resigned from Cabinet. Mary Karoro Okurut also serves as the elected Member of Parliament for Bushenyi District Women's Constituency.

Background and education[edit]

She was born in Bushenyi District on 8 December 1954. She attended Bweranyangi Primary School and Bweranyangi Girls' Senior Secondary School for her elementary and middle school education, in that order. In 1972, at the age of 18, she entered Trinity College Nabbingo to carry out her high school education. In 1974, she entered Makerere University, graduating in 1977 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Literature (BA.Lit). Three years later, in 1981, she graduated with the degree of Master of Arts in Literature (MA.Lit), also from Makerere University. In 1982, she added the Diploma in Education (Dip.Ed), from the same university.[3]

Work history[edit]

Mary Karooro Okurut began lecturing at Makerere, in the Department of Literature in 1981, as soon as she completed her Master's degree. She maintained her status as Lecturer, until 1993. She took up employment as the press secretary to the Vice-President of Uganda from 1994 until 1996. Between 1996 and 1999 she served as Commissioner, Education Service Commission in the Ugandan Ministry of Education. From 1999 until 2004, she served as the press secretary of the President of Uganda. In 2004 she entered elective Ugandan politics.[4]

Literary work[edit]

Prior to her political career, Okurut was perhaps best known for her contributions to Ugandan literature both as a writer and as the founder of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE),[5] an organisation which has since received international attention and has to date produced one winner of the Caine Prize, Arach Monica de Nyeko, whose story "Jambula Tree" won in 2007.[6]

Karooro Okurut's literary publications include these novels: (a) "The Invisible Weevil" (1998) (ISBN 9789970901029) and (b) "The Official Wife" (ISBN 9789970024018). She also edited "A Woman's Voice" (1998) (ISBN 9789970901036), a collection of short stories by Ugandan women writers.[7]

Political career[edit]

In 2004, Mary Karooro Okurut contested for the Bushenyi District Women's Constituency on the National Resistance Movement political party ticket. She won and has represented that constituency in the Parliament of Uganda until today. She served as Minister of Information and National Guidance from May 2011 until May 2013, when she was reassigned to her current docket.[8] In a cabinet reshuffle on 1 March 2015, she was appointed Security Minister.[2]

Personal details[edit]

Mary K. Okurut was married to Hon. Stanislaus Okurut until his death on the morning of 5 April 2014; together they had eight children – five boys and three girls. She is of the Protestant faith.[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Uganda State House (6 June 2016). "Museveni's new cabinet list At 6 June 2016" (PDF). Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Uganda State House (1 March 2015). "Full Cabinet List As At 1 March 2015" (PDF). Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Mary Karooro Okurut: Woman Representative Bushenyi District". Parliament of Uganda. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Mary Karooro Okurut: Work History 1981 to 2004". Parliament of Uganda. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "History of FEMRITE". Uganda Women Writers' Association. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "FEMRITE Achievements and Milestones". Uganda Women Writers' Association. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Books Authored or Edited by Mary Karooro Okurut". African Books Collective. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mary B. Karooro Okurut". Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU). Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Musisi, Frederic (5 April 2014). "Former Transport minister, Stanislaus Okurut Is Dead". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Karugaba, Mary (9 April 2014). "MPs Pay Tribute to Stanislaus Okurut". New Vision. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 

External links[edit]