Muniini Garama Kwehangaana Mwene Mulera wa Rukooko rwa Misango ya Bareegyire ba Rutahweire rwa Mabindi ga Kangabo ya Butanga bwa Kahurubuka ka Byamarembo is a paediatrician and neonatologist in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. His friends call him Muniini.
Born at Kabale Hospital in Kabale, Kigezi, Uganda, he is a Mukiga of the Bakonjo Abatenga ba Nyanga, a subclan of the Basigyi Clan whose totem is Ente Ngoobe eyibateezaariize (they cannot eat the beef of a black-skinned cow with brown patches that was not delivered by one of his clansmen). His Clan Symbol and friend is Empungu Mareere Rubaagir’ameiru (an Eagle). The Bakonjo introduced the banana plant to Kigezi.
Muniini’s mother was Nyamijumbi the daughter of Keitindani Nyinakyangwa muhara w’Abazigaaba the wife of Bushoberwa Omutanga wa Bushuro, Mwisi, Kabale, Kigezi. She entered eternal sleep on July 9, 2013 after 88 years on Earth.
Muniini’s father is Kisigo Mulera Mwene Rukooko who was born around 1921 in Kahondo ka Byamarembo (also known as Nyamarembo Goona.) He served Uganda as a medicine man in the European style before taking a well-earned retirement.
His paternal ancestors’ previous address was on the shores of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo in Rwanda. They were revered medicine men whose exploits were long preserved in the lyrics of the blues singers of Kahondo. Kisigo’s mother was Keiramibwa from Katenga (Kitohwa) whose ancestors’ previous address was “somewhere in Rwanda.”
Muniini received his basic education at Kihanga Boys Primary School, Kigezi High School Primary and Junior Schools and King’s College, Budo. He studied medicine and surgery at Makerere University, Kampala; clinical physiology at Trinity College, Dublin; paediatrics at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, University of Calgary and neonatology at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
He taught neonatology at the University of Toronto (Hospital for Sick Children) before embarking on a career of building regional neonatology programs at the Royal Victoria Hospital of Barrie, Ontario and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario.
Muniini strongly believes that health is a state of complete physical, mental, social, spiritual, economic and political wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease. He believes that the practice of medicine should never be divorced from advocacy for social justice, human rights and good governance, for they are the foundation for good health.
He has written a weekly column in the Daily Monitor newspaper since May 1997, with emphasis on justice, freedom and democracy. For several years, he served as a regular panellist on the Voice of America’s Reporters’ Round Table, a weekly discussion about news and events in Africa.
Muniini has served the Ugandan North American community in various capacities and was the chief convener of the founding convention of the International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB). He served as Vice-President of ICOB from 2004 until 2010. He was elected President of ICOB on July 23, 2016.
His main professional focus at present is advocacy for accelerated improvement of maternal-child health, with special interest in East Africa. He is the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Mahali Salama Uganda, a Canada-Uganda partnership that aims to support a maternal-child health program within an integrated community development process in Mparo, Kigezi.
He is also very passionate about East African regional integration and eventual political federation. He believes that an important element in this process is dialogue and networking among East African people, not just their governments. This website and Fireplace is his contribution to this shared dream.
His non-professional interests are music, photography and reading, especially where there is no examination at the end of it. He continues to dream of learning to play the African zither (enanga) one day.
Muniini is a Christian who gives glory and honour to God for all He has enabled him to do. He and his wife Florence have four children and four grandchildren. They live in the Greater Toronto Area.