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Katiti: A respectable politician, educationist and author

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th September 2012 08:44 PM

Even though his name is not be prominent today, Constantine Baranga Katiti remains one of the leaders of his time, who is highly regarded by many senior citizens.

Katiti: A respectable politician, educationist and author

Even though his name is not be prominent today, Constantine Baranga Katiti remains one of the leaders of his time, who is highly regarded by many senior citizens.

To mark 50 years of Uganda’s independence, New Vision will, until October 9, 2012, be publishing highlights of events and profiling personalities who have shaped the history of this country.

Today, JOSEPH SSEMUTOOKE searches the archives and brings you the story of Constantine Baranga Katiti, one of the people who drafted the 1962 constitution and a minister in the fi rst post-independence cabinet

Even though his name is not be prominent today, Constantine Baranga Katiti remains one of the leaders of his time, who is highly regarded by many senior citizens.

A look at his life story shows why many who knew him still revere his legacy as a political and community leader in the 1950s and the 1960s.

Joining politics
According to his children and widow, Katiti joined politics in the mid–1950s at the emergence of the nationalist spirit, advocating for Uganda’s selfrule.

Initially doing part–time political activism alongside teaching, Katiti later joined the Uganda People’s Union (Uganda People’s Congress – UPC), which eventually formed the fi rst post-independence government.

He was a major factor for his native Bushenyi district becoming a UPC stronghold in the 1960s, 70s and the 80s, together with Basil Bataringaya.

In 1958, he was elected to represent Ankore constituency in the National Legislative Council (LegiCo), becoming one of the fi rst Ankore representatives in the national assembly.

In the 1960 general elections, he won the Sheema constituency elections by a
big margin.

Because of his brilliance, Katiti served on the Constitutional Committee, which drafted the 1962 Constitution, paving way for Uganda’s independence from colonial rule.

The committee also determined the system of governance Uganda needed.

Other members on the committee included C.J Obwangor, B.K Kirya, Milton Obote, Erisa Kironde, Prince William Nadiope, Frank Kalimuzo, T.B Bazarabusa, C.K Patel, H.K Jaffer.

Other achievements
When the UPC government was elected in 1962, Katiti was appointed the local government permanent secretary, but was shortly to become the local government deputy minister.

Later, he served as culture and community development minister.

According to Prof. Kamuntu, in collaboration with other leaders of Ankole such as Kesi Nganwa, a kingdom offi cial, Katiti promoted the welfare of the region when they started the Banyankore Kweterana Co–operative
Union in 1953.

The union played a great role in improving the welfare of the masses through collective marketing of produce such as coffee, tea and legumes, whose returns were used to educate children.

On the national scene, Katiti led the delegation that went to China to negotiate the setting up of the Kibimba Rice Scheme, which today produces Tilda Rice.

Also around 1964/65, he was a member of the Goodwill Mission, which visited several communistcountries, including the Soviet Union and China. The other group offi cials included William Kalema, Paul Muwanga and Paul Etiang.

On its return, the UPC government announced the “move to the left”, and the “Common Man’s Charter” was subsequently passed.

As a culture and social development minister, under which the sports portfolio fell, Katiti, himself a former sportsman, is said to have led a delegation to China to negotiate the building of a new national stadium at Namboole, the Mandela National Stadium.

On the side of culture, Katiti promoted the traditional dances known as The Heart Beat of Africa.

During his tenure, several multi–purpose community centres were built in every sub–county across the country.
These were meant for activities like adult education, community discussions, training of mothers in nutrition, recreational activities and private functions like weddings.

Katiti also authored the famous Ishe Katabazi, a legend popular among the Banyankore and Bakiga.

He also wrote several books that taught young children in Ankore elementary primary schools how to read in their own language.

He was a mathematics teacher at Mbarara High School during the time Boniface Byanyima was teaching at the school.

Katiti became the fi rst Ugandan headmaster of Mbarara High School in 1953 (to 1958) after the departure of the last British head teacher, Clement Pain.

He died at aged 52 years on September 18, 1972. This was also the day John Akii-Bua won a gold medal in the 400 metre-hurdles at the Munich Olympics.

Katiti is survived by a widow, Yunia Katiti and nine children, three, in 1964 have passed on.

Those still alive include Margaret Mugyenyi, Dr. Edmund Katiti, Anita Katiti Zikusoka, Ovia Katiti Matovu, Betsey Katiti, and Sherlock Benz Katiti.

Katiti was also an uncle to Sir Richard Kaijuka, the former energy minister.

Background Katiti was born in 1920 in Kirundo, near Ryakasinga, in what is Sheema district today. He was from Kanenas the family lineage, which traces it roots to a man called Kanena that arrived in Kirundo around 1700. C.B.

Katiti, as he was fondly called, studied at Kabwohe and Ibanda primary schools before joining Mbarara High School and Kings College Budo for his O and A’levels.

He then joined Makerere College, where he studied a diploma in education.

Later, he got scholarships for further studies at Exeter and Oxford universities in the UK.

During his schools days, he was a marathon runner and an outstanding student, who always among the top students in his class.

 

Katiti: A respectable politician, educationist and author

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