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How Amin Related with Prince Mutebi

By Admin

Added 25th November 2019 09:50 PM

In the first days of his presidency, Amin pledged to return to Uganda the remains of Prince Mutebi’s father, Ssekabaka Edward Mutesa II, for a decent burial at Kasubi tombs.

Aminwithayoungprincemutebiinthe1970s 703x422

In the first days of his presidency, Amin pledged to return to Uganda the remains of Prince Mutebi’s father, Ssekabaka Edward Mutesa II, for a decent burial at Kasubi tombs.

In January 1974, president Idi Amin sent to Europe two soldiers: Zed Maruru (quartermaster general of the Uganda airforce) and Godwin Sule (commanding officer of Malire Mechanised Specialist Reconnaissance Regiment).

The special mission was to ascertain the state of Uganda’s embassies there and also to determine the plight of Ugandan students, especially in London, England. The students included Prince Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, the reigning Kabaka of Buganda.

On return, Maruru and Sule met Amin at the Command Post, Kololo. They, among others, briefed him that some exiles sympathetic to the previous regime of Dr. Milton Obote had attempted to kill a Ugandan student in London called Abdullah who was sympathetic to Amin’s government.

When Amin asked them how Abdullah managed to survive the attack, Maruru and Sule disclosed that when the 19-year-old Prince Mutebi saw the attackers trying to kill Abdullah, he (Prince Mutebi) rushed to the scene and single-handedly fought off the attackers.

Maruru added that when the attackers realised that Prince Mutebi had overpowered them; they fled. Hence, a rescued Abdullah went for medication which led to his full recovery. For his bravery, Maruru and Sule advised Amin to consider recruiting Prince Mutebi, either in the airforce or in-tank squadron.

AMIN IMPRESSED

After listening to Maruru and Sule, Amin, who was a boxer prior to becoming president, was so impressed by how Prince Mutebi had saved Abdullah’s life.

To show his appreciation, Amin promised to write a personal letter to Prince Mutebi thanking him for the noble act of rescuing Abdullah. Amin also told Maruru and Sule that in case Prince Mutebi returned to Uganda for holidays and expressed interest in joining the army, he (Amin) would allow him. Amin was, as well, delighted that Prince Mutebi had passed his examinations well.

It is pertinent to note that when Amin became president on January 25, 1971, the then 16-year-old Prince Mutebi was a student at Bradfield College in the UK.

In the first days of his presidency, Amin pledged to return to Uganda the remains of Prince Mutebi’s father, Ssekabaka Edward Mutesa II, for a decent burial at Kasubi tombs.

Mutesa had died in exile in London on November 21, 1969. He fled to London after his palace at Mengo was attacked on May 24, 1966, by the government forces commanded by Col. Amin, on the orders of president Milton Obote.

Also in his early weeks in power, Amin announced that Prince Mutebi was also free to return home. The announcement was well-received by Capt. Ronnie Owen, the guardian of Prince Mutebi. Indeed Owen remarked: “It is marvelous news! But, at present, the prince has no intention of doing anything, but staying in Britain to finish his O’ level.”

Owen’s viewpoint was shared by the former Buganda kingdom attorney general, Fred Mpanga. He said: “Capt. Owen is quite correct in saying that the boy (Prince Mutebi) will complete his studies in Britain. But that does not rule out a visit to Uganda during the school holidays”.

PRINCE MEETS AMIN

The issue of Prince Mutebi’s then-impending examinations nearly caused the postponement of the return of his father’s remains on March 31, 1971, and its internment on April 4.

Amin, Owen, Maj. Richard Carr Gomm and Prince Mutebi’s mother, Sarah Kisosonkole, held talks in Kampala in March 1971 during which they resolved to let Prince Mutebi seek leave of his studies in London, in order to return and perform the crucial function of laying a barkcloth on his father’s casket, before he was interred at Kasubi.

Accordingly, Prince Mutebi returned in late March 1971 and was at Entebbe airport when the remains of his father were returned on March 31. During his short-lived stay, Prince Mutebi had meetings with Amin and thereafter returned to England to sit his examinations. One month and five days after Prince Mutebi had returned to England for his studies, the widow of Mutesa, Nabagereka Damali Kisosonkole (sister of Prince Mutebi’s mother) wrote a letter to the Bishop of Namirembe, Bishop Dustan Nsubuga in which she announced her conversion from the Anglican Church to Catholicism. She stated in her letter:

“Those few who know me will not be surprised at that declaration. Some others may be shocked and disappointed. I wish to make it absolutely clear to everyone that this decision is exclusively mine, and that at no time has any kind of influence or pressure been brought to bear on me in this connection.”

After the Nabagereka did so, she was spiritually embraced and looked after very well by the Catholic Archbishop of Kampala, Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga, until she reverted to the Anglican Church till her death.

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PRINCE GETS BOAT

Later on August 2, 1971, Mutebi’s mother, Sarah Kisosonkole, met Amin in Kampala and briefed him about Mutebi’s return for holidays.

In the same meeting, Amin resolved to provide a house to Prince Mutebi and his mother at Nakasero. Then on August 3, Mutebi returned in a Caledonian BUA plane for his one-month holiday. He came with Capt. Owen and Martin Flegg.

At Entebbe airport, Prince Mutebi was warmly received by his mother, Prince Badru Kakungulu, Mayanja Nkangi, Mikairi Kintu, Paulo Kavuma, Joseph William Kiwanuka aka Jolly Joe and Paul Ssengendo, among others.

On September 7, during that holiday, Prince Mutebi was handed a hi-tech boat by Amin. That boat originally belonged to Prince Mutebi’s father, Mutesa.

It had been impounded by Obote’s government during the 1966 crisis.

Prince Mutebi was handed that boat at Port Bell pier, Luzira. Amin had been alerted about the existence of that boat by Robert Asketill aka Bob Astles who had worked so closely with Aggrey Awori in Uganda Television during the Obote I regime.

At the handover ceremony, Amin said he (Amin) was not a thief because if he wanted to take that boat, he would not have given it to Prince Mutebi. Amin also assured the prince that he had bought a license for the boat with a six-month guarantee and that if the boat got spoilt within that period, he (Amin) would repair it.

At the same function, Amin warned Baganda elders whom he said were pretending to work for Prince Mutebi, when in the actual fact they were working for their own stomachs. Amin thus cautioned the elders that: “Stop confusing the boy (Prince Mutebi) and let him alone to study. If you continue to confuse him, he will not study properly.” The ceremony also involved Prince Mutebi and Amin sailing together in the aforesaid boat.

RETURNS TO UK

Before Prince Mutebi ended the aforementioned holiday, he attended a church service at Namirembe Cathedral, which was led by Bishop Nsubuga. Thereafter, Mutebi went to Rubaga Cathedral and bid farewell to Archbishop Nsubuga, who is considered the most famous, magnanimous and popular Catholic archbishop Uganda has ever had.

Then on September 9, 1971, Prince Mutebi issued a statement in which he revealed that: “Tomorrow, I am returning to England to the house of my godfather, Mr. Ronnie Owen, and after a few days I shall go back to my school, and continue with my education.”

In the same statement, Prince Mutebi thanked Amin: “I thank with all my heart, His Excellency Gen. Amin, for his kindness to me and to my family and for making such good arrangements for my stay here. I also thank the people for the wonderful welcome which they gave me on my arrival in Uganda, and for the continuous goodwill and kindness during my stay. It has been a joy to me to see happy people all around me.”

Prince Mutebi also made an appeal. “I ask the people to support Gen. Amin and his government in the work of building Uganda into a strong position, in forgetting religious and political differences, and in promoting friendship, among all the people of Uganda. I ask all people to work hard to improve their social and economic life, paying particular attention to agriculture.”

Mutebi concluded his statement by pledging that: “I shall never forget this and the joy of the people released from oppression. I look forward to a future visit at a later date.”

 
TERMINATES VISITS

As per his promise in the aforesaid statement, Mutebi made subsequent visits to Uganda during Amin’s tenure.

However, given Baganda’s love and open statements that Prince Mutebi was their new Kabaka, yet Amin was against the restoration of kingdoms and chiefdoms, some of the former friends of Ssekabaka Mutesa such as Joyce Mpanga became suspicious that Amin’s extremists might harm him.

Thus, a safety measure was agreed upon in which Prince Mutebi stopped coming to Uganda during Amin’s regime.

He restricted himself in London, where he interacted mostly with Jimmy Bemba, John Nagenda, Fulgencio Musoke, Betty Kajubi (now Betty Mugoya), Israel Wamala, among others.

For his leisure in London, Prince Mutebi would on some occasions be sighted together with Nagenda at Ruby’s Club.

The owner of that club was well known to Prince Mutebi’s late father, Mutesa. Actually, it was that club owner who invited Prince Mutebi to go there for his leisure, during which she prepared for him a sumptuous cow offal dish, aware that Prince Mutebi loved it a lot.

It should be noted that scientists recommend intake of offal from especially animals that feed on grass because of their (offal) rich nutrient content such as Coenzyme Q10 which lowers blood pressure, and also acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from damage.

The offal dish also contains amino acids that prevent the inflammation related to diabetes, liver conditions and arthritis. The offal has Vitamin B12 which is vital for normal brain and nervous system function; and also enables the making of red blood cells. Last but not least, the offal dish has vitamins A, D and K, which are necessary for mineral absorption.

BACKS WAR

Around 1978, Prince Mutebi and Kaya Kavuma had a meeting with an anti-Amin group, Uganda Nationalist Organisation, whose members included Rogers Mukasa, Israel Mayengo, Peter Ssenabulya, Kefa Kakumba, Robert Ssebunnya, Basil Mumanya, and David Wasswa.

That meeting took place in the offices of Mayengo located in the IPS Building in Nairobi, Kenya.

The aforementioned anti-Amin group briefed Prince Mutebi about their war plan.

Subsequently in 1985, when the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels of Yoweri Museveni were fighting the military junta of Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa, Prince Mutebi, who was staying at Lower Kabete, Kenya in the house purchased by Ambassador Wasswa Biriggwa, came to Uganda, and toured the liberated zones accompanied by Nagenda.

After the war tour, Prince Mutebi returned to Kenya and would walk freely on Nairobi streets, just like one day when one of his subjects Pastor Washington Ssebina Kaggwa was fascinated by seeing him there.

After the NRA ousted Lutwa’s junta on January 26, 1986, Prince Mutebi was on July 31, 1993, enthroned as the 36th Kabaka of Buganda at Naggalabi, Buddo.

 

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