George Michael Mukula, commonly known as Mike Mukula, is a Ugandan politician, professional pilot, and businessman. He represented Soroti Municipality from 2001 to 2016 in the parliament of Uganda. He is a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement and served as state minister of health from 2001 to 2006.
Early life and education
Mukula was born in Soroti, Teso sub-region in the Eastern Region of Uganda on 27 August 1956. He attended local schools before he was admitted to the Kenya School of Flying at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. He completed his pilot's training in the United States. In 2005, he was awarded a Master of Business Administration by Nkumba University. In 2009. he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Latin University of Theology, based in Torrance, California, USA.
In the late 1980s, Mukula worked as a personal pilot for President Yoweri Museveni. Mukula owned a fleet of Cessna aircraft that he leased out. He personally piloted the president in one of those planes. He entered politics in 2001, when he successfully contested for the Soroti Municipality parliamentary seat. He has continuously occupied that seat since, successfully defending it in 2006 and in 2011. In 2001, he was appointed state minister for health, serving in that position until 2006. In the cabinet reshuffle of 23 May 2006, Museveni removed him from his cabinet.
In May 2015, Mukula announced that he would leave elective politics effective March 2016.
In June 2006, the government of Uganda established a Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice James Munange Ogoola, to inquire into the misuse of funds provided by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The commission found that Minister of Health Jim Muhwezi and his two ministers of state, Mukula and Alex Kamugisha, were responsible for misusing those funds. The commission recommended prosecution, restitution, and possible imprisonment if found guilty.
On 21 May 2007, a combined force of Uganda police, UPDF military police, and regular UPDF military personnel arrested Mukula from his residence at Bugoloobi and, after a brief appearance at the central police station, delivered him to Luzira Maximum Security Prison. He eventually made bail. In January 2013, he was found guilty of embezzling UGX:210 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and sentenced to four years in prison. In March 2013, however, the appellate court dismissed the charges.
He is married and the father of five children. He belongs to the National Resistance Movement political party.