Prof Elijah Dickens Mushemeza (born 26 February 1964, in the Sheema District, Western Region of Uganda) is an academic, an author, and a practical politician. He is a professor of Political Science and Development Management at Ankole Western University; and a senior consultant at ACODE. Previously, he was the dean of Faculty of Business and Development Studies at Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara, Uganda. He is a visiting professor at Bishop Stuart University.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences, a Master of Arts (MA) degree in development studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science at Makerere University. He is a consultant on education, governance, poverty, politics, conflict, forced migration, security, oil and gas, and development issues generally in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
He was previously a coordinator of the MA programme in international relations and diplomatic studies in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Makerere University. He has taught at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Mushemeza is a past alternate executive committee member of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. He has published widely in international journals. He is the editor of the Journal of Development Issues. Outside academia, Mushemeza is active in Ugandan politics. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly 1994-95 that debated, scrutinized, enacted, and promulgated the Constitution of Uganda, and a Member of Parliament of Uganda in 1996. He was a presidential advisor at the level of a senior Cabinet minister and the vice-chairperson of the Electoral Commission of the National Resistance Movement, the ruling party in Uganda (2010–2015).
In his book, The Politics and Empowerment of Banyarwanda Refugees in Uganda, 1959–2001,
》Mushemeza explores how Banyarwanda refugees achieved reasonable levels of integration in Ugandan society because of demographic, social, economic, and cultural characteristics similar to that of the Ugandan population in the areas where they settled. If the Ugandan state had not “failed” in the late 1970s and 1980s, these refugees would perhaps have been naturalised. Although almost all the Hutu and the Tutsi refugees achieved meaningful levels of integration (as some were treated badly and abused with derogatory language), their leaders and some of the elites never gave up the dream of returning home. The opportunity to return eventually emerged in the context of civil war in Uganda (1981–86). Banyarwanda refugees joined the NRM/NRA struggle that enabled them to acquire political, diplomatic, and military skills, which they used effectively to achieve their empowerment ambitions.
Mushemeza has published widely in local and international journals including
》CODESRIA, ACODE and CEWIGO. He is also the Editor of the Journal of Development Issues.
Outside university, Mushemeza is active in Ugandan politics. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly (1994–95) that debated, scrutinised, enacted and promulgated the Constitution of Uganda, and a member of parliament of Uganda in 1996. He was formerly the Vice-Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of the National Resistance Movement, the ruling party in Uganda.