We look back at an interview we had with the late Mayanja Nkangi in which he spoke of his proudest moment ever.
PIC: Mayanja Nkangi at Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II's coronation in 1993. (New Vision archive)
From this interview run by Sunday Vision in 2014, Mayanja Nkangi, who died on Monday aged 85, tells his greatest moment of joy.
You do not look 83, how do you do it?
[Laughs]. My doctor told me to walk 2km every day. I have been a little lazy lately, but I am going to resume.
When did you get married?
My wife Ruth was doing secretarial studies when I met her in London while I was in exile. We have been married for 44 years now. We were blessed with six children (among them musician Tshaka Mayanja and Josephine Mayanja, communications officer in the Prime Minister’s office). One of our children passed on.
There are reports that you and Obote fell out because you were both in love with Miria (Obote)
[Laughs so hard] That is not true. I do not think Obote hated me as a person. It was political reasons. What hurts me to date is that he betrayed us. Despite what Buganda did for the independence of this country, he was simply ambitious.
You headed the land commission at a time when everyone was scrambling for land. What do you think is the solution to this?
The population is growing, but the land is constant. So what we have to do now is use it for posterity. We have to give land to those who are going to use it for development. The mailo land seems to create a lot of tension.
But my view about bibanja owners is that if someone has paid rent (lease), then they own the land until that rent expires. If say, one paid rent for only three years, then the bibanja owner should be free to take it. If they paid for life, then their children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy it.
What has been the most remarkable thing you are proud of?
Installing the Kabaka. Around the time Kabaka Muteesa made his will, I was teaching at Lancaster. In the will, he said Ronald Mutebi would be the heir to the throne. Muteesa died in 1969. And he had requested that his boy is brought back because Obote was hostile. I remember we were about four Buganda loyalists who got together to announce that Mutebi was the next heir.
Although we were in a foreign land, it was symbolic and people started talking. To cut the story short, after several negotiations, President Museveni restored kingdoms in 1993. The day we installed the Kabaka, I was the one with the damula (royal sceptre). My greatest joy was holding Mutebi’s hand and telling the people, “This is the Kabaka.”
- Appointed minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1963 under the Obote 1 government. Then for the next two years, Nkangi was the commerce and industry minister.
- Served as labour minister under the Okello Lutwa government between August 1985 and January 1986, when President Yoweri Museveni’s liberation army overthrew Lutwa.
- Under Museveni’s regime, Nkangi served as minister from 1986 to 2002. He served as education minister, planning and economic development minister, finance minister and justice and constitutional affairs minister.
- Attended Kako Primary School
- Went to Kako Junior Secondary School for Junior One and Two.
- Joined Kings College Budo in 1946.
- Joined Makerere College for A’level
- Went to Makerere University College of East Africa, which was then affiliated to London University.
- Studied maths and economics the University of London.
- Got a Master’s Degree in Economics and Public Finance at Oxford University.
- Did law at Lincoln’s Inn of Courts in London.