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   WHO WAS YOVAN MAIGUT CHEMONGES?

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Yovan M Chemonges was born in Kapchorwa Sebei district
Uganda in …1925 to Mzee Wangari Chemonges and mama Samari Taben. Yovan is one of 6, he was the eldest and has one brother Yolanu Kabassia and 4 sisters, Gogo Cheptai, Yapcherop, Ezerea, Grace. Yovan had four wives, his first wife Kodes Chemonges bore him three children, Stephen kakwein Chemonges the eldest son, Grace chemaigo who passed away in 1993 and Lawrence Chemonges. His second wife  Louise Chemonges known as 'Madam', bore him four children, Beatrice Chemonges, Aggrey Chemonges, Victor Chemonges and the fourth child  Sarah Chemonges, the third wife Naomi Chemonges  has two sons, Andrew and Leonard Chemonges. His fourth wife Joan Chemonges and there two sons passed away. 


Being the eldest child and also the first son, YM had goals and ambitions, but not that of every typical young man; at the tender age of 19 he joined the kenya police but resigned in 1959 at the level of chief inspector of police, the highest ranking an African man in the 50s could possibly achieve. During his time in the police force, YM met a young man (Jomo Kenyatta in kapenguria during his detention) who would change the cause of both their lifes and later be a very close friend.  YM Chemonges attended several meetings and seminars, one of those seminars was held in Edinburgh Scotland where he was to represent his country.

After 15 years in the police force, YM decided to resign decided to join the political game, his main agenda was to fight for the rights of his people. His main stand was that his people, the Sebei should be given their own district by the colonial government. In 1961 through his struggles and his campaign the district was given to the sebei people, however there were consequences to standing up to the colonial power and speaking out, and in this case, YM Chemonges was sentenced to time in prison. He was remanded in prison for two months while the colonial government tried to establish a case against him, the high courts ruled in favor of Mr. Chemonges and he was awarded the district. He had won his case but most importantly he had won the hearts of the Sebei people…his people

In 1961 YM Chemonges was among the esteemed delegates who were invited to Lancaster house in London to discuss the independence of both Kenya and Uganda. The whole situation catapulted and earned Mr. Chemonges the rights and favor of his people hence he was crowned and referred to the king…(kingo). After the elections the following year in 1962, Mr. Chemonges was elected into parliament by the Uganda people. In 1963 the Ugandan government welcomed kingdoms and YM Chemonges become the first and only king of the sebei kingdom until his untimely death.

In 1964 YM Chemonges was appointed the chairman of Uganda airways and he maintained this post until his death. During his time in parliament, he was elected by the kalenjin people to be the president of the kalenjin community in East Africa. In 1964 YM Chemonges represented Uganda as the chairman of delegates at the commonwealth games in Congo Brazzaville. This was a very high achievement for not only Uganda but also for east Africa. In 1965 YM Chemonges was approached to lead peace delegations in Congo Zaire with President Mobutu Sseseiko…the discussions proved to be very fruitful and successful, YM Chemonges would be classed as our modern day Kofi Annan due to his interventions and peace talks and his desire for human understanding, and equal opportunity.

In December 1965 during the delegate’s conference in Gulu, for the UPC party, the delegates almost brought everything to a stand still in protest if YM Chemonges was not to be chairman. It was very clear from the outset who they wanted to run the country; He was elected chairman of the congress and saved the country from political ruin and chaos. This was the icing on the cake, the final leg towards YM Chemonges’s ruling as fate was to have it, and this was also his final public appearance as a few months later on the 25th January 1966 he passed away.