By Ivan Mwine
Dr. Olara Otunnu, who is a former presidential contender, has literally resurrected after spending several years in oblivion.
Otunnu, who a few years ago was battling with Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) president Jimmy Akena over the ownership of Uganda House and Obote Foundation, is back in Uganda after missing in action for a long time.
Our Moles spotted Otunnu today at the Buganda kingdom seat in Bulange Mengo, where he had escorted Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, who had gone to officially apologise to the Kabaka and kingdom officials for the defamatory statements he uttered a few days ago about Kabaka Ronald Mutebi.
Otunnu, who has some friends in Mengo and is a colleague of Katikro Charles Peter Mayiga, was the ideal man for the peace mediation between Owiny-Dollo and the Mengo establishment.
At the peak of his political career, Otunnu, who was a staunch government critic then, made headlines after he expressed interest in contesting for the presidency in 2016 so as to oust President Yoweri Museveni, but later chickened out.
Otunnu, who has lived most of his life in America, fled shortly after the 2016 presidential election and by the time he fled he was being hunted by the police to answer charges of inciting violence and uttering falsehoods, to the extent that some tycoons had bought plots on Lake Victoria.
However, it seems the government has since lost interest in the charges seeing that Otunnu is nowadays hobnobbing with the likes of the Chief Justice, who is the custodian of law.
A lawyer by training, Otunnu, who has been a bachelor all his life, was an Associate with the law firm of Chadbourne and Parke in New York, prior to becoming Assistant Professor of Law at Albany Law School.
In the 1970s, as Makerere guild president and later as Secretary-General of Uganda Freedom Union, Otunnu played a leading role in the resistance against Idi Amin.
At the Moshi Conference, Otunnu was elected as a member of the National Consultative Council, the interim administration after Amin.
He was the minister for Foreign Affairs in 1985-86, during which time he played a prominent role in the Uganda peace talks between NRA rebels and the Uganda government in December 1985.
From 1980 to 1985, he served as Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
During his tenure at the UN, he played an active role, providing leadership in key roles, including President of the Security Council (1981), when he broke the deadlock over the election of the Secretary-General.
From 1998 to 2005, Otunnu served as the UN Under-Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.