How Prof Yusuf Lule’s 68-day reign came crashing down

Yusuf Lule (waving) was elected chairman of the national executive committee at the Moshi conference.

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Short-lived. On June 20, 1979, members of the National Consultative Council (NCC) convened and took a vote on the fate of then president Prof Yusuf Lule. The president had appointed a 52-member Cabinet without NCC’s input, a total violation of the Moshi spirit, writes Henry Lubega.

It is 40 years since Prof Yusuf Lule was overthrown, just after 68 days in power, making his the shortest reign in country’s history. But unlike other coups, this was a bloodless coup carried out within the confines of the State House.
Prof Lule was sworn in on April 13, 1979, only to be overthrown on June 20, 1979, by some of the very people who had appointed him president during the unity conference in the Tanzanian town of Moshi.
Uganda’s fifth president had been invited to the Moshi Conference as one of the two special guests, the other being Paulo Muwanga. The conference brought together Ugandans in the diaspora who were opposed to the Idi Amin regime in Kampala, which was facing an imminent fall following Amin’s invasion of Tanzania and Julius Nyerere in response backing of forces opposed to Amin.


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