Former Ugandan President Binaisa is dead

Former President of Uganda Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa during the CECAFA match between Uganda and Rwanda last year at Namboole Stadium. Binaisa died on Thursday morning. PHOTO BY JB Ssenkubuge

Former President of Uganda Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa QC has died. He was 90, he died this morning at his home in Kizungu Zone, Makindye Division, a Kampala suburb.

President Binaisa is said to have died in his sleep. “We are gutted and really depressed,” said Nakalema Binaisa, a daughter to the former President, struggling to hold back tears.

Ms Nakalema told of how her father went to bed last night “smiling” but did not wake-up this morning. “We went to the hospital on Monday and we were told that his blood sugar levels had gone down,” she said. “We went back home and he seemed alright. He was smiling last night when he went to sleep.

I remember he called the nurse to check on him before he went to sleep. This morning he did not wake-up.” The former leader had been reportedly battling diabetes.

His body was taken to Mulago Hospital for a post-mortem. Ms Nakalema said her father’s physicians suspect the former leader could have succumbed after a cardiac arrest.

“His heart just stopped beating,” she told Daily Monitor in an interview.
“He was always with us and we had so many plans. He was a fabulous human being; we are so gutted.”

Arrangements are under way for a state funeral for the former leader. Officials at the Office of the President and the Prime Minister’s Office are coordinating burial arrangements.

Educated at King's College Budo and Makerere College, Binaisa studied at the law school at King's College London and in 1955 was appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC).
Binaisa had joined Uganda People's Congress which in 1962 formed the first post-independent government of Uganda. During this regime, he was appointed Attorney General.

Following the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979, Binaisa returned to Uganda. He was appointed President of Uganda by the National Consultative Commission, which was then the supreme governing body of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF), a coalition of former Ugandan exiles who had helped remove Idi Amin.

The Presidential Commission ruled Uganda until the December 1980 general elections. Binaisa had joined, and was made vice president of the Uganda Patriotic Movement. The elections were won by Milton Obote's Uganda Peoples Congress.

However, the results were disputed, leading President Museveni to launch a guerilla rebellion, which led him to power in 1986.


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