Mutesa Buganda
President of Uganda; Kabaka of Uganda
Mutesa Buganda
Major General Sir Edward Frederick William David Walugembe Mutebi Luwangula Mutesa II KBE, was Kabaka of the Kingdom of Buganda from 22 November 1939 until his death. He was the thirty-fifth Kabaka of Buganda and the first President of Uganda. He was widely known as King Freddie.
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  • 1969
    Age 44
    Mutesa died of alcohol poisoning in his London flat, No. 28 Orchard House in Rotherhithe, in 1969.
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  • 1966
    Age 41
    Ironically, the new President who ordered the state funeral was Idi Amin, who as Army Commander had led the assault on Mutesa's palace in 1966. It is said that while in exile in London, King Freddie lived in poverty. Mutesa married Lady Damali in 1948.
    More Details Hide Details He is said to have fathered many children with her and twelve other women: Mutesa is recorded to have fathered at least 12 sons and 9 daughters:
    The Buganda regional Parliament passed a resolution in May 1966 declaring that de jure Buganda's incorporation into Uganda had ended with the suspension of the constitution and requesting the federal government to vacate the capital city, which was in Buganda. Obote responded with an armed attack upon the King's palace, sending Mutesa into exile in the United Kingdom via Burundi, and in 1967 a new constitution abolished all of Uganda's kingdoms, including Buganda.
    More Details Hide Details While in exile, Mutesa wrote an autobiography, The Desecration of My Kingdom.
    He had the other four leading members of his party arrested and detained, and then suspended the federal constitution and declared himself President of Uganda in February 1966, deposing Mutesa.
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  • 1964
    Age 39
    In 1964 the coalition between Mutesa and Obote's parties collapsed over the question of a referendum which transferred two counties from Buganda to Bunyoro. In 1966 Mutesa's estrangement from Obote merged with another crisis.
    More Details Hide Details Obote faced a possible removal from office by factional infighting within his own party.
  • 1953
    Age 28
    In 1953, the Lukiiko (Parliament) of Buganda sought independence from Uganda, with Mutesa himself demanding that Buganda be separated from the rest of the protectorate of Uganda and transferred to Foreign Office jurisdiction.
    More Details Hide Details Cohen's response was to depose and exile the Kabaka, creating massive protests among the Baganda. Mutesa's forced departure made him a martyr in the eyes of the Baganda, whose latent separatism set off a storm of protest. Cohen could find no one among the Baganda willing and able to mobilise support for his schemes. After two years of unrelenting Ganda hostility and obstruction, Cohen was forced to reinstate "Kabaka Freddie", who returned to Kampala on 17 October 1955 under a negotiated settlement which made him a constitutional monarch and gave the Baganda the right to elect representatives to the kingdom's parliament, the Lukiiko. Mutesa's standing up to Cohen greatly boosted his popularity in the kingdom. In 1962 Uganda became independent from Britain under the leadership of Milton Obote. Under the country's new constitution, the Kingdom of Buganda became a semi-autonomous part of a new Ugandan federation. The federal Prime Minister was Obote, the leader of the Uganda People's Congress, which entered a governing coalition with the dominant Buganda regional party, Kabaka Yekka. The post of Governor General was abolished with the attainment of republican status and replaced by a non-executive President, a post first held by Mutesa.
  • 1942
    Age 17
    Mutesa was crowned at Buddo on 19 November 1942, his eighteenth birthday.
    More Details Hide Details At that time Buganda was still part of the British protectorate of Uganda. The years between 1945 and 1950 saw widespread protests against both the Governor of Uganda's and King Mutesa's governments. In the early 1950s the British Government floated the idea of uniting British East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika) into a federation. Africans feared that this would lead to their coming under the control of Kenya's white settler community, as had happened in Rhodesia. The Baganda, fearing they would lose the limited autonomy they had under British rule, were particularly opposed. Mutesa himself opposed the proposal, and thus came into conflict with the British Governor, Sir Andrew Cohen.
  • 1939
    Age 14
    Upon the death of his father on 22 November 1939, he was proclaimed Kabaka at the age of fifteen and was installed outside the Lubiri at Mengo on 26 November 1939.
    More Details Hide Details He reigned under a Council of Regents until he came of age and assumed full powers. He attended King's College Budo before he went to England to complete his education at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he joined the University Officer Training Corps and was subsequently commissioned as a captain in the Grenadier Guards.
  • 1924
    Mutesa was born at the house of Albert Ruskin Cook in Makindye, Kampala, on 19 November 1924, the fifth son of Daudi Cwa II of Buganda KCMG KBE, Kabaka of Buganda, who reigned between 1897 and 1939.
    More Details Hide Details His mother was Lady Irene Drusilla Namaganda, of the Nte clan. He was educated at King's College Budo, a prestigious school in Uganda.
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