21.11.

1969: Mutesa II: The King who Became President

1969: Mutesa II: The King who Became President
Photo Credit To http://ugpulse.com/images/articles/daily/20050619_100_mutesa_ii.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event: It is not common knowledge that Uganda is today composed of five kingdoms – Buganda, Toro, Busoga, Bunyoro, and Rwenzururu. King Mutesa II was the 35th King of Buganda. His kingdom was the one that encompassed Kampala – the capital of modern Uganda.

King Mutesa II – the last King of Buganda and the first President of Uganda – died on this day in 1969. Namely, Buganda was the largest of the Ugandan kingdoms. It also encompassed Kampala – the capital of modern Uganda. Buganda was an old kingdom, one which had its roots in the 14th century. King Mutesa II was the 35th King of Buganda. He became king at the age of 15. In the time of his youth, Buganda was a British protectorate. Thus, Mutesa II was schooled in Cambridge, England.

In 1962 the whole of Uganda won independence from Britain. The local kingdoms continued to exist and had some form of autonomy. Milton Obote became the Prime Minister of Uganda, while Mutesa II became president. As president, Mutesa II was the symbolic head of state, but did not have real executive power.

In 1966 Prime Minister Milton Obote and Mutesa II came into conflict. Obote proclaimed himself president and removed Mutesa, who went to exile in Britain. It is interesting to note that the attack on Mutesa’s palace was allegedly led by Idi Amin, who later became the dictator of Uganda.

Mutesa II died from alcohol poisoning on this day in exile in London. Some suspect that he may have been poisoned by Obote’s regime. The new constitution of 1967 abolished all the traditional Ugandan kingdoms, including Buganda. Even so, Buganda was restored as a kingdom within Uganda in 1993. In fact, today there are five kingdoms in Uganda – Buganda, Toro, Busoga, Bunyoro, and Rwenzururu.

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