Mutesa II of Buganda

Mutesa II of Buganda
Mutesa II of Buganda
Kabaka of Buganda
Reign 1939 - 1969
Coronation November 19th, 1942 at Buddo
Born November 19, 1924
Birthplace Makindye, Uganda
Died November 21, 1969(1969-11-21) (aged 45)
Place of death London, United Kingdom
Buried Kasubi Nabulagala
Predecessor Daudi Chwa II of Buganda
Successor Muwenda Mutebi II of Buganda
Consort 1. Naabakyaala Damali Catherine Nnakawombe, the Naabagereka
2. Lady Edith Kasozi
3. Omubiitokati Beatrice Kabasweka
4. Lady Kate Ndagire
5. Naabakyaala Sarah Nalule
6. Muzaana Nalwooga
7. Lady Nesta M. Rugumayo
8. Lady Kaakako Rwanchwende
9. Lady Winifred Keihangwe
10. Lady Ngatho
11. Lady Catherine Karungu
Father Daudi Chwa II of Buganda
Mother Namasole Irene Drusilla Namaganda

Major General Sir Edward Frederick William David Walugembe Mutebi Luwangula Mutesa II KBE (November 19, 1924 – November 21, 1969), was Kabaka of the Kingdom of Buganda from November 22, 1939 until his death. He was the thirty-fifth Kabaka of Buganda and the first President of Uganda. He was known as King (or Kabaka) Freddie.[1]


Early life

Mutesa was born at the house of Sir Albert Cook in Makindye, Kampala, on 19 November 1924, the fifth son of Sir Daudi Chwa II KCMG KBE, Kabaka of Buganda, who reigned between 1897 and 1939. His mother was Lady Irene Drusilla Namaganda, of the Nte clan. He was educated at King's College Budo, a prestigious school in Uganda.

At the age of fifteen, upon the death of his father on 22 November 1939, he was proclaimed Kabaka, and was installed outside the Lubiri at Mengo on 26 November 1939. Thereafter he reigned under a Council of Regents until he came of age and assumed full powers.


Mutesa was crowned at Buddo, on 19 November 1942, his eighteenth birthday. At that time, Buganda was still part of the British protectorate of Uganda.

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.

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. 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. 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 mobilize 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 independence and replaced by a non-executive President, a post first held by Mutesa.

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. Obote faced a possible removal from office by factional infighting within his own party. 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. 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.

Married life

Mutesa married Lady Damali in 1948 and is said to have fathered many children on her and another ten women:

  1. Naabakyaala Damali Catherine Nnakawombe, the Naabagereka, daughter of Christopher Kisosonkole of the Nkima clan. Wedding on November 19, 1948 at St. Paul's Cathedral Namirembe.
  2. Edith Kasozi
  3. Omubiitokati (Princess) Beatrice Kabasweka, a Mutoro from Toro.
  4. Kate Ndagire. Married in 1950
  5. Naabakyaala Sarah Nalule, Omuzaana Kabejja, sister of the Naabagereka, and daughter of Christopher Kisosonkole of the Nkima clan. Married in 1954.
  6. Muzaana Nalwooga. She died in 2003.
  7. Nesta M. Rugumayo, a Mutoro, from Toro
  8. Kaakako Rwanchwende, a Munyankole princess from Ankole.
  9. Winifred Keihangwe, a Munyankole princess from Ankole. She was imprisoned by Milton Obote and released only shortly before going into labor, in 1966.
  10. Lady Ngatho, a Kikuyu, from Nairobi, Kenya.
  11. Catherine Karungu, a Munyankole princess from Ankole


Muteesa is recorded to have fathered at least eleven sons and seven daughters:

  1. Prince (Kiweewa) Robert Masamba Kimera, whose mother was Nesta M. Rugumayo. He was born in Kampala in 1950. He was educated at St. Mary's College Kisubi, King's College Budo and in Canada. He worked as a geologist with the Swaziland Department of Geology, between 1980 and 1983. He was a Lecturer at the Nakawa Vocational School from 1991 until 1992. In 1993, he settled in Canada.
  2. Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, whose mother was Sarah Nalule
  3. Prince (Omulangira) Suuna Frederick Wampamba, whose mother was Edith Kasozi. He was a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Uganda Army. He was killed on the orders of Idi Amin, at Bombo in 1972. He is buried at Kasubi Nabulagala.
  4. Prince (Omulangira) Henry Kalemeera, whose mother was Damali Nnakawombe. He was educated at King's College, Budo and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He is an aeronautical engineer. He settled in the United States. Worked or still works as a Flight Engineer with American Airlines.
  5. Prince (Omulangira) George Michael Ndawula, whose mother was Muzaana Nalwooga.
  6. Prince (Omulangira) Richard Walugembe Bamweyana, whose mother was Sarah Nalule. He was born in 1956, educated in Ghana and worked in the fashion and advertising industries. He died in the 2000s. He was buried at Kasubi Nabulagala.
  7. Prince (Omulangira) Katabaazi Mukarukidi, whose mother was Damali Nnakawombe. He is an airline pilot in Nigeria.
  8. Prince (Omulangira) Patrick Nakibinge, whose mother was Sarah Nalule. He died in the 2000s and is buried at Kasubi Nabulagala.
  9. Prince (Omulangira) Daudi Golooba. He was educated at King's College Budo and Makerere University. He is an accountant. He is a founder member and Chairman of the Buganda Heritage Association of UK and Ireland (Founded in 1998). He settled in the United Kingdom.
  10. Prince (Omulangira) Herbert Kateregga, whose mother was Kaakako Rwanchwende. He settled in the United Kingdom.
  11. Prince (Omulangira) Daudi Kintu Wasajja, whose mother was Winifred Keihangwe. He was born in Kampala in May 1966, after his father had left Uganda. He was educated at Nottingham University in the UK, graduating with a B.A.. He worked as an Executive Underwriter for Pan World Insurance Company and as Regional Retail Manager for Celtel (Uganda) Limited (now Airtel Uganda Limited). He is a member of Buganda Land Board, Kabira Country Club, Hash Harriers Athletic Club and others. Lives in Kampala, Uganda.[2]
  12. Princess (Omumbejja) Dorothy Kabonesa Namukaabya, Nassolo, whose mother was Damali Nakawombe. She was born at the Mengo Palace in 1951. She is a graduate of the University of Nairobi. Lives in Kampala, Uganda.
  13. Princess (Omumbejja) Dina Kigga Mukarukidi, whose mother was Beatrice Kabasweka. She works at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  14. Princess (Omumbejja) Anne Sarah Kagere Nandawula, whose mother is Kate Ndagire. Born at Mengo in 1951.
  15. Princess (Omumbejja) Catherine Agnes Nabaloga, whose mother was Kate Ndagire. She was installed as the Lubuga at the coronation of her brother Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the thirty-sixth Kabaka of Buganda, who has reigned since 1993 until today. Princess Nabaloga is the Patron of Buganda Heritage Association in Denmark. The association was founded in 1998. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Linguistics.[3]
  16. Princess (Omumbejja) Alice Mpologoma Zaalwango, whose mother was Edith Kasozi. She was born in 1961. She was educated at Gayaza Junior School, Kibuli High School and Makerere University. She died in Pretoria, South Africa from breast cancer on March 23, 2005. She is buried at Kasubi.[4]
  17. Princess (Omumbejja) Stella Ndagire. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, whose mother was Lady Ngatho, a Kikuyu. She was raised in Kampala and Nairobi. Settled in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.[5]
  18. Princess (Omumbejja) Diana Balizza Muggale Teyeggala, the youngest child of the late Kabaka, was born in Kampala in October 1966, after her father had gone into exile. He mother is Catherine Karungu, an Ankole princess. Teyeggala never saw her father alive.[6] She resides in Kampala.

The final years

While in exile, Mutesa wrote a published autobiography, The Desecration of My Kingdom.

Mutesa died of alcohol poisoning in his London flat in 1969. Identified by the British police as suicide, the death has been viewed as assassination by those who claim Mutesa may have been force-fed vodka by agents of the Obote regime. Mutesa was interviewed in his flat only a few hours before his death by the British journalist John Simpson, who found that he was sober and in good spirits. Simpson reported this to the police the following day on hearing of Mutesa's death, although this line of inquiry was not pursued. Mutesa's body was returned to Uganda in 1971 after the overthrow of Obote and given a state funeral at Kasubi Nabulagala.[7] 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.

Succession table as Kabaka

Preceded by
Sir Daudi Chwa II
as Kabaka
Head of Royal House of Buganda
as Kabaka

November 22, 1939 – November 21, 1969
Title next held by
Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II
as Kabaka

Succession table as Head of State

Preceded by
Sir Walter Coutts
as Governor General
Head of State of Uganda
as President

October 9, 1962 – March 2, 1966
Succeeded by
Milton Obote
as Prime Minister

See also


External links

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